Encouraging shoppers to convert to the cloth

BUSINESSES in the Tweed Coast village of Pottsville have embarked on a new mission -- making their seaside paradise a place with no plastic shopping bags.

"We are trying to make Pottsville a plastic-bag-free zone," said Pottsville Beach Business Association president Tania Murdock.

"We want to get rid of all the plastic bags if we can."

The Business Association has become one of the first chambers of commerce in Australia to formally adopt a campaign to phase out plastic bags, with local stores convinced their seaside location makes it all the more important to ensure the bags don't find their way into waterways.

Ms Murdoch said her own pharmacy businesses in Coronation Avenue and at Pottsville Waters had bought "thousands and thousands" of cloth bags to give away to customers.

"We have purchased a whole heap of cloth bags. Basically we are giving them away to people making a purchase over $15," she said.

"And we've already given some to customers we see all the time.

"Some of the other stores are involved with cloth bags as well. As a pharmacy we have predominantly used paper bags but the cloth bag is re-useable.

"It's a business association initiative but every business is doing their own more tailored thing."

Ms Murdock said the village's IGA Supermarket as well as the Foodworks in Pottsville Waters were selling cloth bags for 99 cents and recycling all cardboard boxes.

The newsagency and post office were recycling ink cartridges as their part of controlling plastics use.

"Everyone is trying to convert customers to cloth bags," she added.

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