A local “nature lover” has pleaded to the Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup to lead a potential trend to ban plastic bags.
Anita Lindemann presented her idea at the Donnybrook-Balingup Shire council meeting on November 23.
Her business – Green Being Eco Store – sells environmentally-friendly cosmetic items that are organic, sustainable, bio-degradable, and locally sourced.
She said the Shire could be the first to ban plastic bags in the Western Australia and set a benchmark for other towns to follow.
Her idea is to protect the health of the planet.
“Our actions today might help turn this ship around,” Lindemann said.
She pointed out that Donnybrook’s green waste bins had been a success in reducing landfill, and that solar lights were installed down by the river to save money and the burning of fossil fuels.
No longer relying on plastic bags would be a minor change of habits, she said.
“When we had to sort our rubbish, people developed new habits and even when there was a ban on smoking at cafes clubs and pubs many years ago, the doomsayers said that business would close or at the very least it would have a significant negative impact. But the sky did not fall in and people’s health improved and there was a reduction in smoking overall.”
She said there were plenty of reusable bags, boxes, and trolleys for people make use of when they go shopping.
“I do not believe in charging for a single-use plastic bag, just name the date and take them out of circulation.
“As a small community with pristine forests and terrific produce, we need to make a mark, get noticed, really start to put us on the map to be the clean, green destination for tourism and help ensure the survival of small communities.”
She said South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and ACT already have successful plastic bag bans in place.
“We dump 7150 recyclable plastic bags into landfill every minute; that’s 3.93 billion bags per annum.
“It’s time for the Donnybrook-Balingup Shire to step up and ban single-use plastic shopping bags.”
A Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup spokesperson said: “Council supports the introduction of laws to manage the negative environmental impact of plastic shopping bags at the State Government level so as to achieve consistency across all local government areas”.