The City of Fremantle could become the firstlocal government in WA to ban plastic bags but retailer Darren Hotker believes the move would also be easy to implement in Bunbury.
Mr Hotker’s Good Earth Surf Shop has not used plastic bags for years and he believes there would not be much of an impost on other retailers to follow his lead.
‘‘It’s not hard to do, if they needed to they could quite easily charge for paper bags or recyclable bags,’’ he said.
Good Earth do not charge for paper bags and have a range of sizes depending on purchases. For Mr Hotker the move into paper bags made sense considering the background of his business based around minimising waste and looking after the environment.
‘‘I think it’s the way the world is going these days, people need to get onboard with it,’’ he said.
‘‘There is a need to look after the environment and people are appreciating that.’’
If all goes to plan, Fremantle will ban ‘‘single-use plastic bags’’ defined as bags less than 60 microns thick with retailers required to offer a paper alternative or charge for more recyclable plastic bags.
Nationally Australians use more than four billion plastic bags each year and Fremantle Mayor Brad Petitt said the ban was well overdue with bags ending up in waterways damaging marine life.
He believes there is widespread support for the move and said Australia was behind the rest of the world on the issue and WA was behind the rest of the country with South Australia, the ACT and Northern Territory all banning the bags in the last three years.
Following the move by Fremantle, the cities of Nedlands and Vincent in Perth have expressed a wish to ban bags in their own areas.
No councils in the Bunbury region have positions on the subject of banning bags in shops in their jurisdictions however all communicated a willingness to look at the issue if it was brought up by councillors or ratepayers.
The Good Earth is not the only store in the city not to offer plastic bags, the Salvation Army Store has also stopped using them while Target charges 10 cents for its bags.