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Swell Building For Bondi To Go Plastic Bag Free

By Felicity McCullum on March 29, 2016 in News

Photo: Felicity McCullum

Photo: Felicity McCullum

Efforts are underway to rid Bondi of one of the most common sources of litter; the not-so-humble plastic bag. Last year community leaders, local businesses and Waverley Council joined forces on a campaign called Blue Bondi Green to make Bondi plastic-bag free by December 2016.

Bondi being Bondi, there were already a number of businesses leading the way: Gertrude & Alice Café/Bookstore, Sage Beauty, Organic Republic Bakery, Funky Pies and Pressed Juices, to name just a few.

In the time since the campaign started, more than 50 businesses have signed up to be plastic-bag free. Perhaps the most significant transition has been the Bondi Farmers Market.

“When we realised the markets had the potential to be a powerful example for the school and wider community we knew we had to make the change,” Market manager Ross Alexander said. “Over the last year all 45 stallholders have sought alternatives and gone plastic-bag free.”

But Mr Alexander’s work is not finished there.

“The Sunday markets are next,” he said.

Recently students hand-painted totes to celebrate the collaboration. In total, students and teachers sold more than 450 hand-painted totes.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Sydney Marathon winner Heather Turland and her son Clint, co-owners of Jo & Willy’s Depot in North Bondi, are the latest business owners to get on board.

“We noticed our customers trending more and more towards sustainable purchasing options, which included requests for better packaging,” Mr Turland said. “As a business you can either keep up or risk being left behind.”

According to Blue Bondi Green member Sam Coffey, there is an observable ground swell in Bondi to ban the bag.

“Bondi is positioned to be a leading example; it is celebrated as an iconic tourist destination and there is a strong community push to make this ban happen,” Mr Coffey said. “It is our hope that other communities will see what we are doing here and be inspired.

“Of course, it would be great if NSW could ban plastic bags all together.”

Plastic bags have now been banned in four Australian states: South Australia in 2009, the ACT and Northern Territory in 2011, and Tasmania in 2013. The Queensland state government is considering a ban of plastic bags, while the NSW state government has not yet made the move to ban the plastic bag, but that is not to say it won’t follow the wave.

If you want to support the campaign, follow Blue Green Bondi’s Instagram account, @bluebondigreen or jump on to Facebook and ‘like’ their page. If you’re a business owner or decision maker and you want to sign up to be officially plastic bag free, visit visit