IGA Ju­bilee Pocket lead­ing by ex­am­ple

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

IGA Ju­bilee Pocket has re­cently dis­cov­ered what a mo­men­tous dif­fer­ence six weeks can make.

Owner Belinda Martin said dur­ing just a six-week pe­riod the store had pre­vented 30,000 plas­tic bags from en­ter­ing our house­holds and com­mu­nity.

She also said that in con­junc­tion with its new plas­tic-bag free pol­icy, the in­de­pen­dent busi­ness had do­nated $400 to Eco Barge Clean Seas to help with the clean-up ef­forts af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie.

“We chose Eco Barge for our do­na­tion be­cause they’re in our lo­cal area and we like to sup­port other busi­nesses and not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions,” she said.

“Ev­ery­thing that Eco Barge does is so im­por­tant.”

Ms Martin said mak­ing the de­ci­sion to cut plas­tic bags for good had felt like the right thing to do, and both lo­cal and vis­it­ing cus­tomers had been very sup­port­ive.

She said cus­tomers were find­ing the change was “easy”, es­pe­cially when they adapted to new habits of us­ing the Boomerang bag sys­tem or their own re­us­able bags.

“I think it’s crazy that the whole of Aus­tralia as a col­lec­tive doesn’t ban the plas­tic bags, es­pe­cially when we’re sur­rounded by such beau­ti­ful oceans,” she said.

Eco Barge Clean Seas Found­ing Chair Libby Edge said she was proud of IGA.

“And that’s just one store. I think other stores should fol­low their lead,” Ms Edge said.

“You of­ten see plas­tic bags fly­ing out to the ocean. I ac­tu­ally once saw a tur­tle eat a plas­tic bag and I tried to help but I couldn’t reach him. I saw him swim off with it in his mouth.”

She said it was im­por­tant for peo­ple to re­alise that marine de­bris was ev­ery­one’s prob­lem.

LOOK­OUT: A cost­ing dis­pute has emerged be­tween state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments over the South White­haven look­out.

BAG­GING IT: Libby Edge and IGA co-owner Belinda Martin.

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