March 11, 2016
The swell’s building for Bondi to go plastic-bag free
Efforts are underway to rid Bondi of one of the most common sources of litter; the plastic bag. Last year, community leaders, local business and Waverley Council joined forces on a campaign called Blue Bondi Green to make Bondi plastic-bag free by December 2016.
Bondi being Bondi, there were already a number of businesses leading the way: Gertrude and Alice Café bookstore, Sage Beauty, the Organic Republic Bakery, Funky Pies and Pressed Juices, to name a few.
In the time since the campaign started more than 50 businesses have signed up to be plastic-bag free. Perhaps, the most significant transition has been Bondi Farmers Market.
Market manager Ross Alexander said: “When we realised the markets had the potential to be a powerful example for the school and wider community we knew we had to make the change. Over the last year all 45 stallholders have sought alternatives and gone plastic-bag free.’” Recently students hand painted totes to celebrate the collaboration. In total, students and teachers sold more than 450 hand-painted totes. “The Sunday markets are next,” said Ross.
Commonwealth Gold Medallist and Sydney Marathon winner Heather Turland and her son Clint, co-owners of The Depot Café in North Bondi are the latest to get on board. ‘We noticed our customers trending more and more towards sustainable purchasing options, this includes requests for better packaging. As a business you can either keep up or risk being left behind.’ said Clint.
There is an observable ground swell in Bondi to ban the bag.
As a Blue Bondi Green member Sam Coffey explains: “Bondi is positioned to be a leading example, it is celebrated as an iconic tourist destination and there is a strong community push to make this ban happen. It is our hope that other communities will see what we are doing here and be inspired. Of course, it would be great if NSW could ban plastic bags all together”.
Plastic bags have now been banned in four states South Australia in 2009, the ACT and NT in 2011 and Tasmania in 2013. The Queensland State Government is considering a ban of plastic bags. The NSW Government has not yet made the move to ban the plastic bag, but that is not to say it won’t follow the wave.
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Or if you are a business and want to sign up visit http://www.bluebondigreen.org/
Written by Felicity McCullum.First printed in The Beast Magazine.