The sale of goods in plastic bags at Rottnest will cease within 12 months to protect the holiday island’s ‘clean green’ status.
Environment Minister Judy Edwards today said that the island’s retailers had agreed on alternatives as a part of the Away from Home Recycling campaign.
Dr Edwards said the lessee of the supermarkets at the main settlement and Geordie Bay had agreed to offer free home delivery in boxes and to provide a shopping basket on a $5 deposit. They would also sell re-usable bags called ‘bag for life’ for $2.50 and green backpacks for $9.95.
A ‘bag for life’ will be provided free by the Rottnest Island Authority with each accommodation booking.
The lessee of the bakery has agreed to use paper bags or boxes. Plastic bags will only be used for hygiene purposes such as hot food, meat or fish.
The Minister said tourist icons were good places to encourage recycling and the reduction of waste, because the benefits were obvious.
“By simply looking around at the beauty of Rottnest, tourists can see what there is at stake from plastic bags - how they visually pollute the landscape, clog waterways and pose a threat to wildlife,” she said.
“Interstate and overseas visitors will see that Western Australia is serious about encouraging waste prevention.
“We also hope that Rottnest visitors will take the practice home with them.”
Dr Edwards said Rottnest was one of 35 communities throughout WA participating in the Bag Smart campaign which encouraged local authorities to reduce the use of plastic bags.
Others included Fremantle, Cambridge, Bridgetown, Esperance, Exmouth, Goomalling, Manjimup, Margaret River, Port Hedland and Quairading.
“Australians use approximately seven billion plastic shopping bags a year, or nearly 350 bags per year per person,” the Minister said.
“These bags end up in landfills, littering the street and landscapes, and polluting waterways and seas.”
Dr Edwards said the plastic bag agreement would be written into business leases, in one of several new projects on Rottnest as part of the Authority’s commitment to sustainable living.
It would also be introducing bio-degradable bag liners for the rubbish bins in its accommodation.
Through the Waste Management Board, the State Government had allocated $161,000 for the Rottnest Island Authority to implement the Away from Home Recycling program as part of the board’s strategic vision towards zero waste in WA.
Through the grant, the Authority was undertaking market research, developing a waste management model and upgrading all public place recycling stations throughout the island.
Minister's office: 9220 5050