Echuca cam­paigner: Scrap the plas­tic bags

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

SA­MAN­THA Fer­rier has a goal for Echuca-Moama to be­come a plas­tic-free com­mu­nity.

She is so pas­sion­ate she has started a lo­cal ini­tia­tive called Plas­tic Bag Free Echuca-Moama.

‘‘It al­ready ex­ists in other Vic­to­rian towns in­clud­ing Pyra­mid Hill, Boort, Torquay and Mel­bourne com­mu­ni­ties so I have spent the past few months re­search­ing and speak­ing to other or­gan­i­sa­tions,’’ she said.

‘‘I would like peo­ple to con­sider their life­style and habits when con­sum­ing sin­gle-use plas­tic bags. It’s not about be­ing per­fect, even elim­i­nat­ing one thing at a time is a start.’’

Ms Fer­rier es­ti­mated one sin­gleuse plas­tic bag per per­son was used ev­ery day in Echuca-Moama, with 96 per cent end­ing up in land­fill.

‘‘Plas­tic never goes away,’’ she said.

‘‘They are made us­ing non­re­new­able re­sources such as crude oil which takes a lot of en­ergy to pro­duce. And af­ter a while, they end up in the waste stream and our rivers and oceans and are in­gested by marine an­i­mals.’’

As an al­ter­na­tive, Ms Fer­rier is urg­ing peo­ple to use re­us­able shop­ping bags called Boomerang Bags, which are avail­able lo­cally.

‘‘It’s an Aus­tralia-wide ini­tia­tive but im­ple­mented at a com­mu­nity level,’’ she said.

‘‘Peo­ple use re­cy­cled ma­te­rial to sew re­us­able bags and dis­trib­ute them at re­tail out­lets. You bor­row them and bring them back,’’ she said.

‘‘It acts as a prompt so you re­mem­ber to bring your own.’’

With Echuca Neigh­bour­hood House the drop-off point for Echuca-Moama Boomerang Bags, peo­ple are asked to ei­ther sew re­us­able tote bags or do­nate ma­te­rial.

With plas­tic bags al­ready banned in South Aus­tralia, the ACT and NT, Ms Fer­rier said it was just a mat­ter of time be­fore Vic­to­ria fol­lowed suit.

‘‘The idea here then is to have a nice tran­si­tion, so we’re al­ready non-re­liant when the ban comes into place,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a long-term jour­ney, but the sooner it hap­pens the bet­ter.

‘‘It’s some­thing to work to­wards. It won’t hap­pen overnight.’’

■ Plas­tic Bag Free Echuca-Moama will be launched tonight at Echuca li­brary. It will screen the doc­u­men­tary Bag It at 7pm, which will be fol­lowed by ca­sual dis­cus­sion and light nib­bles. For in­for­ma­tion, phone Ms Fer­rier on 0431 248 545.

Photo: IVY WISE

On a mis­sion: Sa­man­tha Fer­rier wants Echuca-Moama to be­come plas­tic bag free.

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