Ian Robinson, a Woolworths staff member at Merimbula gave a spirited defence of the use of plastic bags at the recent council and community forum at Club Sapphire, Merimbula on Wednesday, October 23.
Mr Robinson, who was wearing his Woolworths uniform insisted that he was speaking for himself and not for the company when he spoke about the ills of the recycled or dirty bag.
“People like to run a clean shop but we get all ranges of bags. They’re dirty, sometimes they stink and I feel at times that I don’t want to pack these bags, but of course I do,” he said.
“What of the future,” he asked. “The bags replacing the plastic bags could be just as big a problem.”
He went on to highlight those who appreciated his packing and his plastic bags.
“We give exceptional service,” he said in a reference to the packing services of local supermarkets and suggested that if there were no plastic bags then shoppers might end up packing their bags as they did in supermarkets in the UK or in Aldi.
“What about the elderly and the pregnant women. Are they going to pack their own bags? They appreciate their bags being packed.”
Mr Robinson said that a lot of plastic bags were recycled.
“Farmers use them to collect fireweed and the op shops reuse them too,” he said.
“I still say we need the plastic bags because I’m at the coalface,” Mr Robinson said.
Council was asked if it had the power to ban plastic bags to which Andrew Woodley, group manager planning and environment, said he was unsure and would do some research.
There was also comment about trolleys and it was suggested that coin slots were needed for trolleys to encourage people to return them.
Mr Woodley said that it wasn’t something council could impose but that he was happy to take the matter up with the retailers.
“We all know what the abandoned shopping trolley does for the look of the town,” Mr Woodley said.