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Council Gets Behind Plastic Free July and the Bag Ban

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen got behind the supermarket checkout this week to help sell the message about Queensland's plastic bag ban which comes into force from 1 July.

Cr Christensen joined Woolworths Beaudesert manager, Carissa Toohey, to raise awareness of the environmentally-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic bags which have already been phased out by Woolworths, not only in Queensland but also Australia-wide.

"From 1 July, to help reduce our impact on the environment, there will be fines of up to $6300 for retailers continuing to supply single-use, lightweight plastic shopping bags under 35 microns," he said.

"Many Scenic Rim supermarkets and retailers are approaching the bag ban with optimism, providing reusable bags for sale, supplying cardboard boxes for groceries and produce, and raising customers' awareness of the plastic bag ban through their staff and in-store posters.

"The plastic bag ban is not limited to supermarkets - any retailer of goods, either online or in their store - must now provide alternatives to lightweight plastic bags under the new Queensland Government law."

Council is supporting the transition to more sustainable practices by developing a Waste Free Scenic Rim Toolkit to help local businesses save money, reduce waste and provide alternatives to plastic packaging for their customers.

"Plastic bottles, bags and takeaway containers that are used for short periods of time are having a devastating impact on our environment as plastic breaks up, not down," Cr Christensen said.

"During Plastic Free July, we're encouraging the Scenic Rim community to choose to be part of the solution to the problem of pollution by avoiding products in plastic packaging, refusing single-use plastics such as straws, take-away cups, plastic cutlery and balloons, and opting for reusable items such as keep cups and shopping bags.

"As we're celebrating Eat Local Week, it's a timely reminder to purchase more fresh produce than packaged food - for our own health and well-being as well as that of the environment."

Cr Christensen encouraged Scenic Rim shoppers to plan ahead and keep reusable bags in their cars.

"Let's all get behind the plastic bag ban and Plastic Free July to keep our beautiful Scenic Rim scenic," he said.

For more information visit www.plasticfreejuly.org