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