Experts back bid by Bassendean resident to ban shopping bags

Stock image.
Stock image.

TWO sustainability experts have backed a Bassendean resident’s push for a communal reusable shopping bag bin at a Bassendean shopping centre.

Rachel Darbourne formed a petition last month for a reusable shopping bag bin to be placed at Hawaiian’s Bassendean where the community could donate and share their bags.

The petition has garnered about 150 signatures so far.

MORE: Still no end in sight to Spud Shed’s appeal

MORE: Brazilian trip leads South Perth pair to food truck idea

MORE: Kalamunda Show to debut new attractions and offer ticket discounts

The UWA Sustainable Development Solutions Network co-ordinator Helen Whitbread said the campaign should have a goal and other incentives to reduce plastic bags.

“The immediate benefits are in creating a sense of community through sharing resources (shopping bags) and sharing responsibility (for reducing plastic consumption) ,” Dr Whitbread said.

“The best way to determine the effectiveness of the campaign is to involve traders and have them track before and after use of plastic bags; this can be most easily done by tracking any reduction in orders for bags.”

Curtin University sustainability professor Peter Newman said the community needed to “get rid of plastic”.

“The reusable non-plastic bags will become very popular because plastic bags are going to be banned,” he said.

“Plastic bags are clogging up our oceans and harming fish, turtles, sharks and everything that moves in the ocean.”

Ms Darbourne, who addressed Bassendean council on March 28, said she would submit her petition to council once it reached 200 signatures.

“I guess if it was available to everyone then perhaps more people would be on board with using them and less single use plastic would go to landfill,” she said.

Ms Darbourne said she was working on a strategic plan for her proposal and she sent a letter to council about her proposal.

Mayor John Gangell welcomed the proposal while Town chief executive Bob Jarvis said the letter was referred to the environmental officer and the Town would have discussions with Hawaiian.

A Hawaiian spokeswoman said the group shared its findings after a trial of a similar concept at The Park Centre with Ms Darbourne.

Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk told Community Newspaper Group the new State Government would not stand in the way of a local government ban on plastic bags.