South Brisbane retailers called to voluntarily stop supplying plastic bags for the New Year.
South Brisbane, December 24, 2014: local resident, James Warren is calling on businesses in the 4101 postcode to go cold turkey and stop supplying single use plastic bags to customers as their Christmas gift to the planet. In an open letter to retailers and businesses Mr. Warren is inviting them to participate in an initiative that can increase profit and business sustainability.
Stopping using plastic bags is an environmental safety issue because only 25% are reused and the rest end up in landfill or the environment. Plastic bags are avoidable consumer waste which damage the environment and kill many animals. Plastic bags don’t break down in the environment but break up into smaller pieces. Micro-plastic is then eaten by fish and bio-accumulates up the food chain to people who eat seafood.
Mr. Warren said, “I was prompted to do something when I saw thousands of pieces of colourful blue, red and green plastic while walking along the high tide mark on the beaches of beautiful Stradbroke Island during a family holiday so I decided I had to do something for our children’s future.” “Understandably there will be some resistance to change their habits by people who have grown up with free plastic bags but many of the older generation can recall using paper bags and boxes,’ he said.
Reducing single use plastic bags through a ban does not increase the cost to consumers because when faced with a plastic bag ban, consumers choose sustainable alternatives such as canvas or jute bags.
In South Australia, nine out of ten shoppers now take their own bags at no extra cost. California in the US has recently outlawed single use plastic bags and major countries such as China and India are working towards eliminating plastic bags.
Thousands of Queenslanders participate in the annual Clean Up Australia Day. All of these clean ups report the problem of plastic bag litter. There is a reason for South Brisbane, 4101 to address this environmental health and safety issue. It is our duty of care.
The open letter to retailers in 4101 can be viewed on google docs.