Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 11.10 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, October 11 2011 - 3
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Maria Marzano and Paris Pappas at Deakin IGA prepares for the ACT plastic bag ban. Picture: Elesa Lee
Plastic bag ban
a bearable burden
AS deadline day looms for the
territory's plastic bag ban, store
owners are realising what the
changes might cost them.
All lightweight plastic shopping
bags, which are generally used by
most supermarkets, grocery stores
and takeaway food outlets, will be
forbidden in the ACT from Novem-
Retailers face fines of up to $550
if they don't provide alternative
options for shoppers, such as bags
made of thicker plastic and paper,
biodegradable or green bags.
While Coles and Woolworths
have plans to charge 15c each for the
new thicker, reusable plastic bags,
some smaller retailers are concerned
about what that could do to their
Deakin IGA owner Tass Spyro-
poulos has been complying with the
ban for the past six weeks.
He sourced a Sydney supplier
who was providing him with thicker
Although the new bags are costing
him an extra $15,000 annually, Mr
Spyropoulos has chosen not to
charge for the bags.
"It is a sizeable amount ... they
are costing me more," he said.
"But we're not a big player, if we
[charge for the bags] our customers
will leave us.
"Big people can get away with it,
people will still go there."
Despite the extra costs it means
for his business, Mr Spyropoulos
supports the ban.
"We don't have much of a choice
... we've got to start somewhere," he
He believes that in time, the cost
of the new bags will come down.
"Once these bags become more
widely used I think the price will
start to come down. It's just econo-
mics," he said.
"It may take 12 months or 18
months ... but I'm pretty confident
that the price will come down."
A spokeswoman from the
Environment and Sustainable Devel-
opment Directorate said general
feedback from retailers regarding the
ban had been quite positive.
"At the heart of the plastic bag ban
is a commitment to move Canberra
towards a cleaner territory," she
said. "The ban is about taking action
to protect our environment and
reduce litter in the ACT."
The spokeswoman said no fund-
ing would be provided to help with
the extra costs being inflicted on
She said feedback from last
week's Plastic Bag Advisory Com-
mittee meeting did not indicate any
issues surrounding cost.
"An outcome from the meeting is
that post-ban signage will be imple-
mented to ensure customers continue
to be well informed," she said.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Send your letters to the editor to PO BOX
7155, Canberra Mail Centre, ACT 2610, fax
them to 6239 1345 or email them to
Keep it short (say 250 words), sign the letter
and print your name and address at the bottom.
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