What are my alternatives to plastic bags?
Consider using alternatives to plastic bags such as green bags, calico bags, Onya bags or paper bags. These bags are excellent substitutes, as they are often biodegradable, reusable, stronger, and they last a lot longer.
Rather than use plastic bags as bin liners, simply wash your bin insert weekly or as needed so that waste goes straight into your green bin. You could even start a compost to dispose of wet waste.
If you have to use plastic bags, try to reuse them where you can. If they cannot be reused, recycle them. Take your plastic ‘checkout’ bags to participating retailers for recycling. They cannot be placed in the home recycling bin. To find your local plastic bag recycling locations, go to RecyclingNearYou.com.au.
They will then be recycled and turned into items that will be given back to our community, such as outdoor furniture for our pre-schools and primary schools.
What is the impact of plastic bags?
Aside from the obvious impact this has on animals when they become entangled, or ingest it, littered plastic bags are contributing to the accumulation of micro-plastics in the environment, as they break down into smaller pieces.
Major reasons that plastic bags are particularly problematic in the litter stream are:
they last from 20 - 1,000 years
they escape and float easily in air and water, travelling long distances.
The key motivations for Local Government in Western Australia in seeking to act on plastic bags are to:
reduce litter in the terrestrial and marine environment; this reduces impacts on the environment and the need for resource intensive clean-ups
reduce plastic bag contamination of alternative waste treatment plants and composting facilities; this increases the value of the compost and reduces the amount of pre-treatment necessary.
Given the potential impact and the concern that has been generated by many Councils and community regarding plastic bags, the Town is seeking the input of our community, such that a formal position on plastic bags may be recommended to Council.