Gi­ants sent pack­ing

THEY beat the su­per­mar­ket gi­ants to the ban on sin­gle-use plas­tic bags. Glen For­rest IGA owner-man­ager Tony Mer­lacco and his staff stopped pro­vid­ing the light­weight bags in May.

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - FRONT PAGE - Lynn Gri­er­son

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

Glen For­rest IGA stopped pro­vid­ing 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?’. 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 of­fer a free card­board box,” he said.

“We also sell the hand­bag­sized 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 bor­rowed and re­turned 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 on Wed­nes­day, 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.

Pic­ture: David Baylis­mu­ni­ d484156

Tony Mer­lacco with boxes he has been pro­vid­ing to cus­tomers in lieu of plas­tic bags.

Pic­ture: David Baylis­mu­ni­ d484156

Cus­tomer Trevor Clark, of Mundaring, us­ing a box pro­vided by Glen For­rest IGA owner Tony Mer­lacco.

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