The famous Kiama pelican, killed by eating plastic bags.We had another meeting of the Kiama Council Sustainability Advisory Committee tonight, and as always it was a fascinating and stimulating discussion.

One of the topics that came up was the question of whether Kiama could ditch plastic bags. There was a [newspaper article in October last year]( where the Council announced its intention to do so, and there is a [Land And Sea – Plastic Free]( page on the Council website, but not much seems to have happened in this area.

Huskisson, just an hour or so down the coast (and the town where I grew up!), [has done it]( They have a fairly similar tourist-driven local economy, so most of the issues they overcame should be similar to ours.

What do you think? Could Kiama get rid of plastic bags? How might we do it?


  1. Greenfumb

    When I was a kid in NZ we always put our groceries into brown paper bags and cardboard boxes. They weren’t recycled of course but they could be now. In fact they could made from recycled paper and added to your compost.

    • @Greenfumb: Yeah, we used to have paper grocery bags here too when I was a kid (30+ years ago!). They could be made from recycled paper, and since they don’t need to be bleached they shouldn’t be too hard on the environment to manufacture. Certainly not as bad as plastic bags. We keep a supply of the fabric grocery bags in our cars for grocery shopping – they’re great, since they’re so strong and hold a lot more than plastic bags. They also keep their shape a bit better, so your groceries pack better in the car.

  2. Of course they could. Anything is possible, you just need viable alternatives. My wife and sisters have a children’s clothes business and they use recycled paper bags with twine handles, this makes it nice as well as sustainable.

    On another note, Bundanoon has just announced a ban on bottled water. Small towns are leading the way!

    • @Christian: Yes, I read about Bundanoon last night! What fantastic news! We actually discussed that at the KSAC meeting as well, but thought the plastic bag project would be easier to achieve and would be a good first step before tackling something bigger.

  3. Kiama should be plastic bag free for sure!
    I’m appalled that the Australian supermarkets still use them – take them away and then everyone will suddenly remember to take their own. I’m sure most households already have a collection of them.
    Maybe we need a re-spin of the anti smoking in pubs commercials… If the Irish can…(6 years ago!!!)… then surely we can.

  4. Darren, I heard from the news that a small town in Australia have been voted not to sell any bottled mineral water inside the town. I think this act should be carried out in all around the world too!

    • @Wilson: Yes, it was Bundanoon. It’s just up the mountains from us here. It’s very inspiring, and would be a fantastic goal to work towards!

  5. Just stumbled on your blog and have enjoyed having a look around. I am a bit further down the coast in Berry, making changes bit by bit to live more sustainably. Look forward to reading more about your doings.

    • @Paola: Welcome! There are a few people around Berry with similar goals and ideals, so you’re definitely among like-minded people. Have you linked up with Berry FutureCare? They’ve been doing some good things. Let me know how you go in your efforts, and stay in touch!

  6. king kong

    it depends on if you have alot of poloution in your country and if you do ban them and if you don’t keep them.

    • @king kong: It’s not really that simple. Plastic bags are a waste of resources and energy to produce for a single-use throw-away product. They find their way into rivers and drains, and then into the ocean, where they kill wildlife. It doesn’t matter if your country is already polluted or not, widespread use of plastic bags is bad news.

  7. vicki

    yes, absolutely! plastic bags are just an unnecessary habit. We don’t use them anymore to line the kitchen rubbish bin, instead we wrap up uncompostable kitchen scraps in newspaper. If they’re not provided people will quickly adjust and find a better way

    • @vicki: That’s awesome. We’ve bought some tulle bags for putting fruit and vegies in, so we’ve even been able to do away with those plastic bags now too.

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