Businesses and residents at Pacific Palms south of Forster are supporting the ‘Pacific Palms- as plastic free as we can be’ campaign.
It is being funded by grants from the federal Caring For our Country program and the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority.
The Great Lakes council’s manager of Waste, Health and Regulatory Services John Cavanagh said shoppers are going to be actively encouraged to stop using plastic bags.
“Here in the Great Lakes because we’re surrounded by beaches, waterways, rivers, lakes it doesn’t take much to actually find plastic shopping bags in the water,” he said.
“They do pose a threat to marine life, there’s no doubt about that.
“A proven fact time and time again that the aquatic life just doesn’t seem to cope well with our plastics.
“So this is just one method of trying to reduce the littering associated with plastic shopping bags.”
The Pacific Palms is being used as a pilot to try and get a voluntary ban on plastic shopping bags that are handed out by local shops.
Mr Cavanagh said to kick start the project businesses will offer customers jute shopping bags.
“We have some 29 businesses which is I think is all of them down there which have signed up to undertake the study for us,” he said.
“They have stickers on their doors and various notices describing the initiative, what it’s for and why.
“The council is providing them with some jute bags to hand out to people in lieu of the plastic shopping bags.
“We’ve also handed them out to estate agents and property managers just to put in some of the holiday units.”
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