Bag the plastics
PORT Douglas artists are being invited to design an iconic Port Douglas reusable shopping bag in a project aimed at phasing out plastic bags in the town.
The Think Outside the Bag project is a joint initiative between Cairns and Far North Environment Centre, Tangaroa Blue Society and the Douglas Shire Sustainability Group to work with small businesses in a bid to reduce plastic bag waste in our pristine environment.
The theme of the reusable bag, which will be made of a natural fibre like cotton or bamboo and designed in a way that portrays the natural beauty of the Port Douglas region, can also double as a souvenir for tourists.
Tangaroa Blue Society founder Heidi Taylor said plastic bags are the most common item they clean from our beaches and are a resource “we don’t actually need” that impacts marine life.
“In Port Douglas we are the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and everyone talks about operators being eco-accredited and eco-friendly and I think this is a really good way of showing that and leading the way, being creative and take a stance to protect the environment as a community,” she said.
“We did a survey and the shops and businesses wanted to find a solution easy for them to implement and won’t cost a fortune and if those two things were addressed the majority of businesses said they were open to the idea.”
CAFNEC project manager Anna McGuire said the most obvious reason to introduce reusable plastic bags is to reduce the number of injuries and death among marine wildlife.
“Telling people not to use plastic bags, people have been told that before, we’re trying to be creative in the way we bring across our message and draw on local talent in the community,” she said.
The Douglas Shire Sustainability Group president Robert Hanan said their members “wholeheartedly” supported the initiative.
“It’s a good opportunity for a bit of creativity and a bit of thinking outside the bag and an opportunity for people to reflect on their own behaviour and how they can make a difference,” he said.
The artist whose design is chosen for the reusable bag will win a full- day snorkelling trip for two on Poseidon, donated by Poseidon Cruises.
Email your design to sustainability@ cafnec.org.au by October 31 or visit www.cafnec.org.au for more details.
PUSH TO BE PLASTIC BAGFREE: Scuba Dave owner and Tangaroa Blue member Katie Smith