Fremantle Councils Missed Opportunity

Over the last couple of days there has been a bit chat about the state government not pushing through the COF plastic bag ban.

Personally I’m all for changing the plastic bags to a better product, but I’m against the COF starting its own little state by making up its own laws, especially when the law they put in place will have little to no practical outcome.

Getting to the point of the post, the Missed Opportunity.

The council and mayor Brad Pettitt instead of pushing for a law to fine/punish business for not using the biodegradable bags, could have taken this idea and turn it more to a marketing opportunity. Give Fremantle another Brand, It would even open them up to run a competition for logos, branding, marketing etc.

Taking something like the BID, and using a Fremantle branded Biodegradable bag to sell to businesses in town, with a simple QR barcode on the bag that could link back to a website promoting all the business that have Opted to join fremantle’s councils save the ocean or cut plastic bag useage or what ever program. It could be used as a tool to promote Fremantle businesses that are ecco friendly or ethical.

Giving consumers and informed choice of where they could chose to shop and businesses a choice of whether they take part or not. More carrot less whip.

Then there are the added benefits to business that bulk purchasing would lower the cost to the business, as collective buying would enable you to bargain a better price for bags, giving business a lower cost than them going out and sourcing them for themselves. Possible seasonal marketing programs, shops using the brand to promote their own business etc. The city using it to promote events etc.

Instead of education and encouragement the council has chosen the whip over the carrot to drive their ideology with fremantle businesses and wasted time and resources with a pissing contest with the state government. Which smells more of more of cheap nasty party politics than good environmental outcomes. Fremantle’s councils true weakness.


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  1. Roger Garwood says:

    Very fine lateral thinking there. This is something lacking in Freo’s current parlous state.

    • Mark says:

      Sadly their efforts appear more and more to be about political outcome for their own benefit not the general greater good of Fremantle

  2. Peter says:

    Nice idea, that is the sort of thinking Council needs.

  3. Mark, I think you have the basis of a very good policy that you should expand, grow and elaborate on. This is the sort of positive policy growth that Fremantle needs instead of the head butting with State Government. It just goes to show you that you don’t need government intervention to achieve a good outcome.

    Like I suggested in a previous post about this issue, I think if you keep it simple, tie the use of the biodegradable bags into a shop front promotion, say and A5/A4 poster, and then, as you say, tie the bags into a marketing opportunity directed at the “Fremantle Brand” then I really think you have something. Tie this into “all participating” stores in Fremantle on the Fremantle website. See which businesses are interested.

    It’s about making the idea of using bio-degrable bags welcomed and an advantage for Fremantle businesses, from a business perspective. A “Shop in Fremantle” slogan of sorts could be adopted or similar.

    I wouldn’t be too quick to rush to council the chamber of commerce or the BID with this idea, let them adopt it. If you have the time and energy, try running with it. Go and have a chat to some of the independent businesses around. Unfortunately those stakeholders have already proved their ignorance by backing moves to put through legislation to ban bags and force retailers to charge customers when businesses are already crying out for some help. I think its a win-win, but you’ll need to sell the idea to the business. i.e. Whats in it for them. How will this benefit my business?

    Unfortunately the “The Greens” (Sullivan, Ludlam, Pemberton, Pettitt, Waltham, Coggin, McLaren) are using Fremantle Council as the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ and trying to get legislation through adoptive reforms. It seems Katsambanis has seen through what is going on and rightly put a stop to it. I think if you make the wider community aware of this trend, you will see a larger and more stronger voter turnout at the next election.

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