Ditch that plastic

NewsXpress Ocean Grove''s Clinton Staehr with reusable bags.

By now most Ocean Grove locals will be aware that Coles and Woolworths will stop providing free single-use plastic bags from 20 June.

Ocean Grove Coastcare has welcomes the change, having been encouraging people for some time to take reusable bags with them when shopping.

“While many of the single-use plastic bags are reused in the home, hundreds of others end up harming sea birds, fish and other marine life, after escaped bags travel through streets and drains into the river and ocean,” president Ocean Grove Coastcare Margot Busch said.

“Those plastic bags that do make it to the local tip may break up, but only into smaller pieces – they will always be present.”

Ocean Grove Coastcare is keen to hear the community’s thoughts about the upcoming change in the supermarkets and has a quick survey running – go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/LKCCQM2 and you could win one of three fabulous goodie packs worth $100 each.

While several Ocean Grove shops have never provided plastic bags, others have more recently made a positive change.

One of these is Piping Hot Chicken Shop and Burger Grill which started providing paper bags as early as July 2017 for takeaway food.

“When we hand over a paper bag to customers, many of them say ‘thank you for not using plastic’,” the chook shop’s Tami McAdam said.

And NewsXpress has recently installed a box outside its shop with reusable bags for people to borrow when they’ve forgotten their own (with the idea of returning the bag the next time they shop).But that’s not all that’s happening.

Other local businesses are looking at ways to reduce a range of single-use plastics that commonly end up in the environment, such as straws and plastic-lined coffee cups, and upcoming editions of the Voice will feature some of these.