Praise for ditching plastic bags
TWEED and Gold Coast environment groups have praised a decision by Target Australia to ditch plastic shopping bags.
From next month, Target stores will no longer offer plastic shopping bags to customers, in a bid to reduce the retail giant’s impact on the environment.
Shoppers will instead have to choose between reusable or compostable bags available to buy at the checkout, or no shopping bag at all.
Target’s managing director Launa Inman said the decision to go national was made following the successful implementation of a similar change to the company’s South Australian stores, which was met with a positive response from customers and staff.
"We all have a role to play in reducing our impact on the environment," Ms Inman said. "One way is to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags in our business.
"Target stores currently issue over 100 million plastic shopping bags each year to customers and from June 1 this will stop."
Lois Levy, secretary of Gecko – Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council, said the move was responsible.
"We were disappointed that the Federal Environment Minister didn’t follow through with his promise to phase out all plastic bags," Ms Levy said.
"So it’s great to see Target leading by example."
Ms Levy said plastic bags posed a danger to wildlife, so any move to do away with them would be supported by Gecko.
"It is simply not necessary to use them," she said. "They do cause huge amounts of damage to our environments.
"They are unsightly ... and they mess up habitats both on land and at sea."
Ms Inman said customers could bring their own shopping bags or alternatively buy a reusable bag for $1 or a compostable bag for 10 cents.
Tweed Heads Environment Group secretary Richard Murray said he thought doing away with plastic bags was a "good idea".
"They take a lot of time to break down and they are found in all sorts of marine life," Mr Murray said.
"If they were taken off the scene and could be replaced by something that wouldn’t be blight on the environment then that would be a good thing."