Push for plastic-free utopia

By July 2018, single-use plastic bags will no longer be given out at Woolworths stores. Photo: iStock
By July 2018, single-use plastic bags will no longer be given out at Woolworths stores. Photo: iStock

A Border ‘Ban the Bag’ campaigner has welcomed Coles and Woolworth’s decision to ditch single-use plastic bags, but called on supermarket giants, governments and residents to do more. 

Woolworths announced on Friday all its Australian stores, including BWS and Big W, would stop giving out single-use plastic bags in the next 12 months.

They said stores would offer multi-use plastic bags for 15 cents or fabric bags for 99 cents.

Coles announced they too would phase out the bags over 12 months.

Marni Korneluk of the Ban the Bag Albury-Wodonga Facebook page said the supermarkets should go further and forgo all plastic.

“It’s brilliant, I was super excited to see the announcement but it’s a shame the government didn’t back the supermarkets and they had to do it on their own,’” she said.

“You can still pay 15 cents for a multi-use plastic bag but I think the best option is to phase plastic out completely and use reusable. 

“Plastic never biodegrades, once it’s made it’s forever in the environment.

“Nine times out of ten it ends up in the ocean where fish ingest it, whales ingest it and seabirds ingest it.”

Miss Korneluk recently started an online group to try create a completely plastic bag free Border.

“I wanted to see how many people out there are in the same frame of mind as me and support a ban,” she said.

“Victoria and NSW are two of the largest states who haven’t banned plastic bags so I thought why can’t the Border try be one of the first regions in the states to do it.”

Miss Korneluk said plastic-alternatives were already readily available in the Border and she hopes the move from the supermarket giant would be supported locally. 

“Plastic bags is the first, biggest and the most important step,” she said.

“Then it comes down to individual people and the other things you can do.

“I bought an aluminum water bottle to stop purchasing disposable bottles, buying bamboo toothbrushes to stop the sale of plastic brushes.

“It comes down to the individual making change in their own life.”

Miss Korneluk said she hoped Victoria and NSW governments were paying attention to changing public opinion. 

“It comes down to the individual making change in their own life.”

Marni Korneluk, Ban the Bag Albury-Wodonga