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Traralgon Creek clean up reveals disturbing legacy

A clean up of Traralgon Creek following the floods and storms in late August has prompted Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Brendan Jenkins, to call for a change to community attitudes on plastic shopping bags...

By Latrobe City Council - 3rd October 2001 - Back to News

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A clean up of Traralgon Creek following the floods and storms in late August has prompted Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Brendan Jenkins, to call for a change to community attitudes on plastic shopping bags.

Councillor Jenkins said that as floodwaters subsided, Traralgon Creek revealed a disturbing legacy as tens of thousands of drink cups, bottles, cans and plastic bags were left strewn on the river banks.

The rubbish is swept along stormwater courses from urban areas in heavy rain, until reaching the river, and Cr Jenkins said that while cleaning up after the storm had been a big job, it was one that could only ever be partially successful.

"While the river banks around town now look terrific, thousands of plastic shopping bags, have become entangled in trees midstream, or lie at the foot of steep banks, impossible to reach. Properties may have escaped serious flood damage, but will still wear the scars of our throw away society," Cr Jenkins said.

"This is not a problem unique to Latrobe, but an ongoing concern being more recognised throughout Australia and in many western nations. It’s a problem identified by the ‘Clean Up Australia’ organisation, which has noted the high percentage of plastic shopping bags retrieved on Clean Up Australia Day.

"Latrobe City Council will be supporting a new initiative by Clean Up Australia which takes place later this month, which is an opportunity for retailers and the wider community to work together to highlight the issues associated with plastic shopping bags.

"Retailers can help in ways such as educating their check-out staff to ask customers with only a small number of items whether they need a bag; by making alternatives to plastic bags easily available, and by providing clearly marked drop-off bins for collecting customers’ unwanted, used plastic bags.

"Shoppers can help by using alternatives such as calico bags to carry their purchases from check-outs, or returning their plastic bags to the recycling bins at supermarkets," Cr Jenkins said.

"While Coles and Safeway have already indicated their willingness to Clean Up Australia to participate in the week of action on plastic shopping bags, other retailers and the public at large are urged to come on board to help reduce, reuse, recycle and replace plastic bags, and help minimize what is becoming a growing environmental problem."

Retailers can receive further information on Clean Up Australia’s week of action, by contacting Gina Bowman at Clean Up Australia by email gian@cleanup.com.au or telephone 02 9552 6177; and citizens can visit the Clean Up Australia Website www.cleanup.com.au


Source: www.gippsland.com

Published by: latrobecity@gippslander.com



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