SHOP SMART: SPAR Yamba’s Karl Donald and ‘Wombat’ Hougton, EcoBag crusader Gina Lopez and campaign sponsors Tracy Walkinshaw, Jenny Buys and Karen Teasdale display the latest release of the bags which will be priced at 50 cents in an bid to change people’s habits.
SHOP SMART: SPAR Yamba’s Karl Donald and ‘Wombat’ Hougton, EcoBag crusader Gina Lopez and campaign sponsors Tracy Walkinshaw, Jenny Buys and Karen Teasdale display the latest release of the bags which will be priced at 50 cents in an bid to change people’s habits. Clair Morton

Bag campaign makes cents

YAMBA'S paper bag crusaders have stepped their EcoBag campaign up a notch in an effort to get more people to take responsibility for their plastic consumption.

From this week, EcoBags will cost 50c each at participating Yamba businesses. The bags, made of recycled paper, are available for shoppers instead of plastic bags.

One of the faces behind the initiative, Gina Lopez, said single-use plastic was still an major environmental problem.

Ms Lopez said the vast majority of the 3.92 billion plastic bags consumed annually by Australians end up choking oceans and waterways and in landfill.

"In light of this, it's time to test a new model, one that puts consumers in the 'seat of responsibility', so to speak," she said.

"The idea is to encourage mindfulness of resource consumption by placing a value on the bag. Fifty cents seems like a pretty reasonable ask, which will then hopefully encourage people to re-use their EcoBag or better yet, bring their own."

"As most of us know, many cities and countries around the world have already banned plastic bags and many have imposed a charge if you take one. Based on case studies, we know it works."

Ms Lopez said EcoBags are available at most retailers in Yamba and urged people to support the community wide project by taking their own bags when shopping.

"I'm always trying to encourage people to reuse them," The Nook owner Jenny Buys said.

"When I give them out I tell people we are trying to reduce plastic in Yamba and that they're nice and strong, and hold up to 12kg."

Ms Lopez said if people have shopping bags they no longer want, they can be delivered to The Corner Store in Yamba. She said when the EcoBags do finally give out, they can be turned into worm food.

"All money raised by the 50c charge goes back into making more bags for the Yamba community," Ms Lopez said.

"Remember EcoBag is your plan B. The change is up to you."



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