Can your town go plastic-bag free? Steps for towns:
In April 2003 Coles Bay in Tasmania was the first town in Australia to go ‘Plastic Bag Free’, working closely with Planet Ark to ban plastic shopping bags.
Since then, 13 other towns and suburbs across Australia have also become plastic bag free, kickstarting a nation-wide campaign to eliminate plastic bags in Australia by the end of 2008.
Greener Footprints is currently working with the City of Rossland to become the first plastic bag free town in Canada. Maybe your town can do the same? Here is a step-by-step guide for your town to become plastic-bag free:
- Make sure your town or suburb is capable of going Plastic Check-out Bag Free
A town or suburb that is capable of going Plastic Check-out Bag Free has all locally owned supermarkets and retail outlets. This makes it easier to implement a plastic-bag-free plan as this can be community driven at the local level.
- Designate a local champion/s to coordinate your town’s Plastic Bag Free campaign
- Talk to local community groups
Local community groups, e.g., Rotary clubs, Lions, Seniors Groups, and your local Chamber of Commerce, may be a great source of volunteers and even funding for your campaign.
- Compile a list of retailers in your town that use plastic check-out bags
It may be useful for you to identify those stores in your area that are already plastic check-out bag free. You can use the names of these retailers when you are persuading other retailers to stop using plastic check-out bags.
- Write to all retailers in your town to invite them to join your Plastic Bag Free Town campaign
- Run an information night for retailers and the local community to attend
Make sure you have read through the ‘Plastic bag facts’ and the ‘FAQs’ pages on this website to help you answer any questions you may be asked.
- Get retailers to sign off on their commitment to go Plastic Bag Free
- Decide on a design to go on your town bags
By having one design for the whole town you can save money as there will only be one set up cost. This also ties the whole community effort together.
- Order re-usable bags for every retailer to sell
- Set a launch date for when your town will be Plastic Check-Out Bag Free
This will be when the reusable bag orders arrive and can be distributed throughout the town.
- Announce the launch date
Make local launch date announcement so all residents are aware of their town going Plastic Check-Out Bag Free. Contact all local media to cover this.
- Organize your Plastic Bag Free Town launch day
Invite local Mayor to attend and speak. Notify all local media to cover launch.