SIZ­ING UP CHANGES

BE READY FOR JULY 1 RE­FORMS:

The Weekend Post - - Front Page - DANAELLA WIVELL [email protected] edi­to­[email protected] face­book.com/TheCairn­sPost www.cairnspost.com.au twit­ter.com/TheCairn­sPost

THE big­gest change com­ing to Cairns on July 1 is the plas­tic bag ban and plas­tic-free cam­paign­ers are say­ing the clam­p­down couldn’t come soon enough.

Re­tail stores across the re­gion will fall in line with Queens­land leg­is­la­tion ban­ning plas­tic shop­ping bags un­der 35 mi­crons from July 1.

How­ever, Wool­worths is go­ing a step fur­ther by in­tro­duc­ing the ban next Wednesday.

Com­mit­tee for Waste Re­duc­tion pres­i­dent Les­ley Van Staveren said it was a sim­ple mat­ter of break­ing old habits.

“It’s one of those things that’s an easy swap. It’s def­i­nitely go­ing to make a dif­fer­ence to our re­gion, be­cause those plas­tic bags all end up full of rub­bish in land­fill,” she said.

“You just need to go to creeks or parks and you can see plas­tic bags in what would other be a pris­tine area.

“Tourism is our big­gest in­dus­try so we have to look af­ter our en­vi­ron­ment.”

She said the next step would be for other types of plas­tic bags to be phased out.

“There are other op­tions for the thin plas­tic bags you put fruit and veg­gies into and al­low­ing peo­ple to bring in their own con­tain­ers for fish or meat at the deli should be the next step in the plas­tic ban,” she said.

Coun­cil­lor Brett Olds said it was a good first step but more could be done in the war against plas­tic waste.

“This is a good first step,” he said.

“I wish they’d get rid of all plas­tic but this will start to dis­cour­age peo­ple from us­ing plas­tic bags.”

He said it was not an easy move for the State Gov­ern­ment to bring the plas­tic bag ban leg­is­la­tion to fruition.

“When the state makes changes this big it’s not an easy process, so I hope that it’ll make a dif­fer­ence … If you go to the creek you could see 50 bags down there but in three months there might only be 25.

“Does that make a dif­fer­ence? Yes, it does. Ev­ery bag makes a dif­fer­ence.”

He said the true test of time would be how the ban im­pacted the way chil­dren used plas­tic bags.

“Our next gen­er­a­tion is re­ally hav­ing it drilled into them,” he said.

“Ne­ces­sity is the mother of in­ven­tion, so to see the in­no­va­tion around the world in the next decade will be very in­ter­est­ing.”

Tourism Trop­i­cal North Queens­land CEO Pip Close said the plas­tic bag ban would help draw at­ten­tion to the need to re­duce the use of sin­gle-use plas­tic.

“The tourism in­dus­try has thrown its weight be­hind the re­duc­tion of sin­gle-use plas­tic as it poses a threat to marine crea­tures on the Great Bar­rier Reef,” she said.

Na­tional Re­tail As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Do­minique Lamb said a lit­tle bit of plan­ning in the next fort­night would make a big dif­fer­ence for shop­pers.

“Con­sumers will need to pre­pare by either bring­ing their own re-us­able bags and should ex­pect to pay a small fee of around 15 to 20¢ for a ba­sic re­us­able op­tion, through to as much as $5 for a lo­cal­ly­made jute or hes­sian bag,” she said.

“It’s up to all of us to do our bit. It’s a small change in our rou­tine for a big im­pact on Queens­land’s en­vi­ron­ment.”

NE­CES­SITY IS THE MOTHER OF IN­VEN­TION, SO TO SEE THE IN­NO­VA­TION AROUND THE WORLD IN THE NEXT DECADE WILL BE VERY IN­TER­EST­ING COUN­CIL­LOR BRETT OLDS

SER­VICE: The owner of Black Ivy Bou­tique Deb Hay­ton with some

GOOD FIRST STEP: Cus­tomers are be­ing en­cour­aged to switch to en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly shop­ping bags.

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