Wednesday, 7 August 2013

It’s time to give plastic bags the flick!

Contact: Maria Clippingdale
P: 6233 3240 E: Maria.Clippingdale@environment.tas.gov.au W: www.plasticbags.tas.gov.au

Location: Tasmania wide
Date of Event: 1 November 2013

Intended Audience: All schools, all principals, all P&F bodies

Is your school ready to give plastic bags the flick? The ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags is just around the corner.

From 1 November 2013 Tasmanian retailers can no longer supply shoppers with non-biodegradable, lightweight plastic shopping bags, to carry or transport goods bought from the retailer. This includes all exhibitors and stall holders at school fairs, festivals and other events and applies to bags even if they have previously been used.

Retailers can continue supplying customers with any other bag option including paper bags, thicker boutique-style plastic bags, biodegradable plastic bags, reusable bags and plastic bags that are an integral part of the packaging (such as bread bags and vegetable 'barrier' bags).

The main aim of the ban is to reduce the use of lightweight plastic shopping bags in favour of reusable bags. So please ensure that your school community is aware of the ban and encourage everyone to remember their reusable bags at school events. You may want to consider selling bags made from excess tee-shirts, or do as Taroona Primary School has done and sell calico bags painted by the students at your fair; they are a hit with the parents! Taroona Primary School already holds events free from plastic shopping bags and has some great tips for running an environmentally friendly fair:
  • Sell strong and practical reusable bags, decorated by the kids.
  • Have a plan for reusing any plastic bags you receive filled with goods for the fair (e.g. give them to students at the end of the year to carry their books home).
  • Put reminders in the school newsletter: 'be prepared to buy a bag or remember reusable bags'.
  • Start collecting boxes early to give to customers.
  • Reuse crockery, cutlery and glasses each year, or provide compostable ones.
  • Organise with your local recycling provider to pick up your recycling and waste separately
  • Recycle your organic waste through a food waste collection service.
Read their case study in the second plastic bag newsletter.

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