THE State Government’s plastic bag ban from July 1 will have little effect on Rottnest Island because retailers have been selling paper or reusable bags for several years.
The challenge will be drawing people away from single-use packaging altogether and encouraging them to invest in reusable bags, according to Brindle Group chairman Greg Brindle.
Mr Brindle, who owns the General Store, Geordie Bay Store, Rottnest Bakery and Indianic, said the Government’s objective was to move away from single-use packaging, which was “logical”.
“The issue is more sensitive on the island compared to the mainland because you see the plastic bags in the water,” he said.
“We had minimal customer resistance on Rottnest and we actually gave the paper bags away at our Applecross store (The Good Grocer), so the game changer will actually be selling those bags there.
“A lot of people go to Rottnest for a week, buy one of our Rottnest multi-use bags and start walking around the island with that.”
Brindle Group Rottnest Stores general manager Dale Dwyer said island businesses worked together on environmental initiatives such as Plastic Free July and were replacing plastic drinking straws with paper straws, which was supported by the Rottnest Island Authority.
Mr Dwyer said hopefully the messages from the island were transferred to the mainland.
The Brindle Group offers 15c paper bags that hold up to 10kg of groceries in all stores (Canning Bridge IGA, Wembley Supa IGA, Leederville IGA, The Good Grocer Applecross and The Good Grocer Shenton Park IGA) and from this month will sell its own line of reusable cotton bags and reusable cooler bags.