Tackling single-use plastic

Article image - Tackling single-use plastic Shire of Dardanup Environment Officer James Kain, Cr Carmel Boyce and CEO Mark Chester embracing the BYO Bag campaign message.

Cutting community use of plastic bags was the aim of an awareness campaign launched in August by the Shire of Dardanup in Western Australia, just prior to the State Government’s announcement of a ban on single-use plastic bags.

As part of the campaign, the Shire created an eye-catching BYO Bag logo with the tagline ‘Let’s be plastic free!’, which has appeared on the Shire’s website, email signatures and social media platforms, accompanied by information designed to raise community awareness about the problem with plastic bags.

A dedicated BYO BAG Facebook page was also created and managed by the Shire’s Communications Officer where interested residents could keep up with recycling tips and information. The hashtags #byobag and #letsbeplasticfree were also used to help spread the word.

Neighbouring Local Government City of Bunbury also joined in the campaign by sharing information on its social media channels.
Council requested the campaign as part of a resolution at its meeting on July 19 to advise Environment Minister Stephen Dawson and Local Government Minister David Templeman of its support for a state-wide ban on plastic bags.

Single-use plastic bags have already been banned in South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT.

Dardanup Shire President Mick Bennett said plastic bags couldn’t go into Yellow Top recycling bins and instead needed to be dropped in special bins specifically for soft plastics recycling found at Coles and Woolworths supermarkets.

“These soft plastics are then recycled into products like outdoor furniture, bollards, signage and decking.

“The Shire of Dardanup has been purchasing these environmentally-friendly, recycled products for the past two years because of their superior resilience to termites, rotting and cracking.”

Mr Bennett said the aim of the BYO Bag logo was to provide a visual cue, reminding residents to bring their own enviro bags when they went shopping, drop off their soft plastics at participating supermarkets and participate in litter clean-up events.

The campaign has been embraced by Shire Staff and the community with BYO Bag Facebook Page followers even beginning to contribute their own hints and tips to improve their recycling habits.

Short graphic Facebook posts sharing simple home recycling tips received strong audience reach and engagement, boosting the overall performance of the page as a tool for communicating with the public.

Western Australia’s ban on single-use plastic bags will be introduced as of next July.