Ban the bag: Dubbo consumers have mixed views on ban proposal

The view from the streets: Consumers Carole O'Connor, Juleen Warren, Julia Daley (top, left to right) and Sofie Raad, Rick Winmill and Kris Stevens (bottom, left to right) give the verdict on calls to ban plastic bags.
The view from the streets: Consumers Carole O'Connor, Juleen Warren, Julia Daley (top, left to right) and Sofie Raad, Rick Winmill and Kris Stevens (bottom, left to right) give the verdict on calls to ban plastic bags.

Mixed views about a ban on plastic bags exist among consumers at Dubbo despite most welcoming a move by major supermarkets to phase out the common item.

Woolworths and then Coles announced plans on Friday to stop supplying plastic bags to customers in a bid to reduce the huge environmental toll they cause.

The move has prompted calls from the opposition, environmental groups and some retailers for the NSW government to bring in a ban.

Among shoppers in Talbragar and Macquarie streets on Monday there was widespread support for the supermarkets’ plan to phase out single-use plastic bags by June 30, instead making reusable bags available for purchase.

But a number of those surveyed by the Daily Liberal did not endorse a statewide ban.

Sofie Raad said the retailers’ decision was a great idea, but she did not want to see legislation passed.

“I don’t think governments should intervene in stuff like that,” she said.

“I think we’ve got too many regulations in this country as it is already.”

Julia Daley of Warren was happy to see plastic bags phased out by supermarkets because they made “clutter”.

But she was hesitant to support a ban, saying it did depend on what the plastic bags were used for.

Carole O’Connor of Dubbo hailed the supermarkets’ announcement as a “very good idea” but a government ban was not her preferred option.

“I don’t know that they should ban them, but they should encourage people not to use them,” she said.

Juleen Warren with her shopping carried in her reusable bags. Photo: FAYE WHEELER

Juleen Warren with her shopping carried in her reusable bags. Photo: FAYE WHEELER

Dubbo’s Juleen Warren uses reusable bags, but anticipated consumers could at times be inconvenienced by the plastic version being phased out.

She did not support a ban.

“I’d probably be more comfortable with plastic bags being there, but a charge, that would be a fairer option, so you had an alternative if you did forget,” she said.

Leanne Gilmour of Gilgandra said sometimes plastic bags had their uses.

“I don’t know about banning them completely, but definitely to encourage people to use the reusable ones would be a good idea,” she said.

Kris Stevens of Dubbo was wholehearted in her support for the “long overdue” move by the retailers.

“I’m really happy that they’ve decided to do it,” she said.

She contested there “absolutely” should be a ban.

Rick Winmill said the supermarkets’ decision was “fantastic”, and was “actually going back to the future”.

He said a ban would be a good move as well because “it’s never going to improve unless we get rid of it completely”.