Pittwater Council will trial a ‘Say No to Plastic Bags’ program in Avalon’s shopping centre commencing on Monday 1 November.
Twenty-eight Avalon businesses or almost a third of the suburb’s retail community have agreed to take part in the trial, which will see consumers offered paper bags, bio-degradable or reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags when they purchase goods from participating shops.
The program has the full support of the Avalon Chamber of Commerce.
General Manager Mark Ferguson said the Council would trial the pilot program in Avalon throughout November and December 2010.
“We hope to reduce plastic bag use and in doing so help protect Pittwater’s environment,” Mr Ferguson said.
During the initial phase of the trial, Pittwater Council will provide businesses with a stock of calico bags for their customers.
The Council will also enlist the support of businesses to provide shoppers with bio-degradable or paper bags instead of plastic bags.
Education Officer Emma Mackay was encouraged by the positive response to the recent survey conducted across nearly 100 shop-keepers in the Avalon retail centre.
“Results from the survey indicate that most shop-keepers were supportive of the trial and most indicated they would continue the program even after the supply of calico bags from Council runs out,” she said.
“One of the options being looked at by the Chamber and the Council is to run a competition for local students to design artwork for new stocks of calico bags.”
Ms Mackay said that the funds raised from the sale of the bags to local businesses could then go towards the purchase more bags as well as be donated to local charities such as the surf club.
Mayor Harvey Rose acknowledged the support of the Avalon Chamber of Commerce for their endorsement of the program.
“I encourage everyone in Avalon to ‘Say No to Plastic Bags’ and remember to take your reusable bag with you when you shop,” said Cr Rose.