IGA Glen Forrest customers lead lightweight plastic bag ban

Customer Trevor Clark of Mundaring with Glen Forrest IGA owner Tony Merlacco. Picture: David Baylis
Customer Trevor Clark of Mundaring with Glen Forrest IGA owner Tony Merlacco. Picture: David Baylis

CUSTOMERS of a Glen Forrest store helped beat the supermarket giants to the ban on single-use plastic bags.

Glen Forrest IGA stopped stocking the lightweight bags in May.

Owner-manager Tony Merlacco said regular shoppers wanted the change introduced ahead of the statewide ban on July 1.

“We had a talk with some of our customers and thought why wait? Let’s make a concerted effort and we started storing cardboard boxes for our customers use ahead of the ban,” he said.

He said many shoppers remember to bring bags, but could be caught short when they buy more items than first intended.

“In this situation, our staff automatically offers a free cardboard box,” he said.

“We also sell the handbag-sized foldable bags and I’d like to provide men with something similar, such as a handy wallet-sized bag for convenience.”

Staff advised shoppers about the change at the checkout and notifications were posted on social media.

Crabbs Kalamunda IGA owner-manager Bruce Harwood said his customers had embraced the sustainable Boomerang Bag alternative introduced earlier this year.

The free reusable bags made by local groups are also available at Lesmurdie IGA and from the new bulk food store Replenish in Kalamunda.

Transition Town Kalamunda member Adele Standeven said shoppers borrow and return the bags.

“It helps reinforce the BYO bag message, because if you have forgotten yours or didn’t plan on going shopping then the Boomerang Bags are right near the checkouts to borrow,” she said.

Woolworths stores banned single-use plastic bags today – a week and a half out from the state ban.

The Environmental Protection (Plastic Bags) Regulations 2018 includes a ban on degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic bags because the bags “persist in the environment” and pose a threat to wildlife.

PLASTIC BAG FACTS

WA uses 670 million lightweight plastic bags annually

Most of the bags end up in landfill

About 7 million bags are littered