It’s estimated one trillion plastic bags are used and discarded every year worldwide. The Maldon community is taking a stand against waste, joining 30 other towns in the Loddon Mallee region to become a Plastic Bag Free Town.
Australians use over 10 million new plastic bags every day. Each bag can take up to 1,000 years to break down, meaning that every plastic bag ever produced is still in a landfill. Those that are blown away, dumped or littered end up in water systems and, ultimately, in the ocean where they are thought to be responsible for killing more than one million seabirds and 100,000 mammals every year.
The Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery Group (LMWRRG) and Maldon Inc have been working with stores throughout Maldon to help them become plastic bag free. The group says owners, managers and the general public have been hugely supportive throughout the transition process.
“We strongly encourage all Maldon residents to support the town traders and remember to take their reusable bags,” says Karen Fazzani, Executive Officer LMWRRG.
“Every effort in this regard helps protect the environment from damage plastic bags can cause especially when they take such a long time to break down.”
Stores that previously supplied plastic bags have been provided with a recycled paper alternative and re-usable calico bags will be available throughout the town. Boomerang Bags have also recently become available.
It’s hoped that as time goes on people will start to bring their own re-usable bags when they shop, removing the need for retailers to supply a bag altogether. To get everyone in the swing of things, throughout July people can enter the draw to win a hamper worth $250 every time they shop in Maldon with their re-usable bags.
“One of the actions in our Council Plan is to support Maldon and other communities to be plastic bag free, says Sharon Telford, Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire. “As a Maldon local, it’s fantastic for us to be the first plastic bag free town in Mount Alexander Shire.”
“Reusable bags are a simple and effective way that we can all reduce our impact on the environment. It’s small decisions that have a lasting impact and I’m very proud of our community for taking this step.”
The team at the Waller Realty office in Maldon are extremely supportive of the initiative and praised local traders for their commitment to protecting the environment.
“Becoming a Plastic Bag Free Town will make Maldon an even more appealing place to live and we congratulate everyone involved,” says Waller Realty’s Leah Panos.