Retailer stories

How is your business getting ready for the ban on lightweight, checkout-style plastic bags?

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Target and Target Country stores in South Australia stopped providing customers with lightweight, checkout-style plastic bags on 1 December 2008, instead implementing a multi-tiered bag offer to encourage customers to use durable, reusable bags and only buy the bags they need. Peter Ryall, Target’s Regional Manager South Australia, said the bag strategy was being implemented in South Australian stores before the peak Christmas rush. “We believe the timing of these changes will ensure a smooth transition operationally and maximise the opportunity for customers to use alternative bags during this busy trading period,” he said.

“Our approach includes offering a range of durable, reusable bags in a variety of sizes, as well as medium and large compostable bags. Team members at the registers, supported by instore customer signage will be encouraging customers to switch to durable, reusable bags. The key component of our new strategy is our ‘Red Bag’ that comes in three sizes with all profits from the sale of these bags going to our national community partner, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation.”

Kangaroo Island Old Bags Day

Old bags – of both the human and goods-carrying varieties – were out in force on 14 November 2008 when Kangaroo Island went plastic bag free for a day. Almost every retail business on the island agreed to be plastic bag free on the day and had plenty of fun doing it. An idea of The Islander and Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Board, all IGA stores, Drakes in Kingscote, Hog Bay Stores in Penneshaw as well as smaller stores joined in. Live ‘old bags’, both male and female, were on-site reminding everyone to BYO their bags from the car.

The Island is well known as the area of southern South Australia that has the most abundant wildlife and highest coverage of natural vegetation, so it was only natural that Islanders would want to be ahead of the game in reducing their use of plastic bags. Displays at the major stores featured alternative bags, some from far-flung lands. Image courtesy The Islander.


“While single-use plastic bags are given away to customers for free, it’s always the environment that pays the true cost of our disposal culture,” says Mark Lincoln, managing director Lush Australasia Retail Pty Ltd, a company which have an emphasis on natural products and minimal packaging. “The two things people should take when shopping are their wallets and their reusable tote bag. LUSH is proud of its policy against plastic carrier bags and it wants to see Federal Government, other retailers, and its customers support a campaign to get them out of our cities.”

As part of a national campaign undertaken in July 2008, customers could come in-store to find out more information and sign a petition to the Environment Protection and Heritage Council, urging them to ban plastic bags and promote reusable canvas tote bags. A national petition also went live on Animals Australia’s website for customers who wanted to take part but do not live close to a LUSH store.