TASMANIA’s independent grocery retail sector has welcomed moves to ban non biodegradable plastic bags but has cautioned against extending this to bio degradable bags.
Tasmanian Independent Retailers (TIR) Chief Executive Officer, Grant Hinchcliffe said for the last year or so, the vast majority of independent grocery retailers in Tasmania have been already using recycled and bio-degradable plastic bags.
TIR represents some 100 IGA banner stores as well as supporting over 300 mum and dad grocery retailers throughout Tasmania.
“While we are happy to support any moves to ban non bio-degradable plastic bags, going beyond this would be counter-productive and more about lip service and a feel good news story than actually achieving anything,” Mr Hinchcliffe said.
“It should be held in mind that plastic grocery bags make 0.7 per cent of landfill in Australia and much of the waste we see on the road side and in the community is from fast food packaging and cigarette butts.
“However, if there is an alternative, such as in the case of the bio-degradable plastic bag, then it is common sense for such an imitative to occur.”
Mr Hinchcliffe said in his experience the vast majority of the community used plastic bags responsibly, as they not only assisted in moving bulky loads of shopping, but were also used as bin liners and other such tasks around the home.
“While I welcome this move, I would be concerned if this gets extended to all plastic bags, as it would simply be throwing the baby out with the bath water,” Mr Hinchcliffe said.
The Examiner - Plastic bag ban backed (PDF)
The Mercury - Plastic bags facing chop (PDF)