Reusable bags are still debris if not disposed of properly

20121124_101911Coles Supermarkets support Landcare through providing reusable bags for just 99 cents.

These bags are great to use time and time again however there is one major issue……they are PLASTIC.

They even have a plastic bottom in them which makes these pictures even worse.  Whilst they are fantastic in reducing the number of single use plastic bags uses, they need to be disposed of carefully when they are finished being used.

We were sent these images by Nick Lawther who works in Brisbane.  Nick likes to walk around the Botanic Gardens after work, to offset his sedentary work.   Nick said ‘The Gardens are beautiful and I love being there at dusk to see the thousands of bats come flying in from the east. Between the boardwalk and the embankment path there is a stand of mangroves with a sand/mud bank that is exposed at low tide. The rubbish that accumulates there is astounding, and amongst it yes, Landcare, doing it’s bit to add to it.’

20121124_101851Nick even sent an e-mail off to Landcare and after two months has still not received a response.  You would think that they would at least acknowledge Nick.  We have offered to contact Landcare ourselves and recently sent off an e-mail with Nick’s images.  We’ll see if we get a response.

Well we did get a response from Landcare.  Here it is.

At Landcare Australia we are extremely passionate about caring for our natural environment.  Our current awareness raising campaign, – L.I.F.E. (Landcare Is For Everyone), is about people across Australia getting involved in Landcare in their everyday lives and thinking about their actions each and every day and what impact they have. Littering is certainly one of those actions that we want people to think about.

We understand that litter is a significant environmental issue and support the appropriate disposal of reusable bags so that they don’t end up in our precious waterways. One way we would encourage people to dispose appropriately of their old ‘green’ bags is by taking them to a Coles supermarket and dropping them in their soft plastics recycling bin.

The collected waste is delivered to a Victorian based recycling facility RED Group and then onto a company called Replas, where it is recycled into practical bench seats for schools and kindergartens. You can find out more about this initiative here.

Through our partnership with Coles, which was established in 2001 we have provided over 1,600 grants to schools and community groups to establish gardens. These grants are provided to schools through the sale of reusable bags.

You might also like to take a look at some of the inspirational videos that were created by our Junior Landcarers last year as part of the Junior Landcare – Going the Distance competition. We were overwhelmed and heartened by the entries submitted by young students tackling issues such as litter in their own environment. Kids like this give us hope for our planet’s future.

We’re more than happy to discuss with you, and Nick, the issue of littering and to look at ways that we can better educate the community about the importance of disposing of rubbish appropriately.

I’m glad Landcare has taken the initiative to respond.  I do agree that they do a great job with the funds raised.  We firmly believe that education is the way of the future and we will now work with Landcare to see if we can educate people better on how to dispose of their reusable bags and also how to educate our youth on reducing rubbish in general.