Fremantle’s Plastic Bag Saga

round about sign

Are plastic bags bad, yes I don’t think many people think they are good think, handy yes, but good for us I doubt it?

Fremantle plastic bag ban should be overturned, says WA Liberal MP Peter Katsambanis

Anyway last year Fremantle had a shot at it, (banning plastic bags) it was overturned by state government, why, well probably because it’s up to the state government to make laws for WA, not Fremantle Council. That may come as a shock to some of them but that’s reality.

I can hear the calls from some now, it’s what the Fremantle community wants, really, and if that was so it would already be in place as a good business practice. As if that’s what business wanted they would just buy the already easily obtainable biodegradable or degradable bags, about twice the price but if that’s what your customer wants, it would be a poor business decision not to use them. The fact that businesses do not have on mass in Freo just shows it’s not a priority for its customers base. If I go to peaches and they ask me box or bag, I choose the box also because it’s good for my compost.

It’s ridiculous that you can walk across the road, from Fremantle to East Freo walk into a deli buy something that will come in a plastic bag and walk home to Fremantle with your now illegal purchase. Fremantle is not big enough to have any impact on this issue to be worthwhile. If individual’s want this to happen then petition your local state or better federal members and take the issue to that level of government where it belongs, it’s not a local government issue.

Don’t know anything about Peter Katsambanis but his reported comments all seemed like common sense. I can hear the liberal bashing coming already.

Now I’m sure some will argue “it’s a great test case” seriously S.A. has been doing it for years if you need any facts just look at their data.  That’s not an invitation for council to sponsor a plastic bag junket to S.A., I’m sure the facts are online or maybe a couple of quick emails would get all the info needed on the situation. Same as their can recycle system, been around for years no need for test cases, they have all the info one would need.

Well just to wait and see what the government decides to do now, allow Freo to make its own laws, maybe take the issue state wide or just a quick no, time will tell?

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  1. dickbaynham says:

    All major issues need to be addressed from a personal, local, national and global perspective in order to bring about meaningful change over time and I am totally committed to supporting sustainable environmental policies at all those levels.

    However Councils are elected to deal primarily with ‘local’ issues. These are the Key Performance Indicators against which they will eventually be measured. So while I am happy to support ‘no plastic bags’ from a personal point of view, I am focussed on holding Fremantle Council accountable for the way they manage the finances and the future of the City.

    On all of those measures the jury is still out and while there are limits to what Councils can achieve because of their limited influence, I have been listening to pr spin for over a decade now and my patience is wearing thin. I know I’m not the only one who expected more.

    The plastic bag story is a small part of a much wider problem that needs to be resolved at State and Federal level. It is simply another distraction from the critical issues assailing Fremantle. I want to hear less talk and see more positive action on matters of real consequence at a local level.

    • Mark says:

      All good points Dick
      The plastic issue is a big problem.
      Packaging of goods is huge in our community try buying a kids toy or worse batteries that isn’t in heavy duty formed plastic, or mounted to a hard plastic shell, the government not just needs to make sweeping changes to packaging, which is a huge landfill in our countries. Better to avoid creating the garbage in the first place than solutions likes Brads Pettitts to incinerate it.
      Food is incredible in the amount of needless packaging we have,do apples need to come on a tray shrink wrapped.
      Is it possible to buy a tray of mince that doesn’t come on a foam tray shrink wrapped. Well it was when we had a local butcher.
      That’s why when I see people Like Brad Pettitt supporting a foreign food chain moving into our suburb like Aldi i really question what his supposed sustainability believes are, you can get any more fossil fuel supportive than by supporting a company thats guaranteed to bring ship in lots of cheaply made foreign food, sort of negates driving a P.R. EV don’t u think? but its good spin.
      Local small business just for food could pull a whole lot of garbage out of the supply chain purely by how they operate, but our Mayor supports foreign internationals that kill off small business, import huge amounts of questionable food products, hitting our primary producers and local production business, that add a crap load of garbage to land fill.
      So Brads solution is don’t support a system that would lower the garbage but lets incinerate it the mess we supported happening.
      Could you get a bigger friend to fossil fuel

      I need to a blog post just on hypocrisy but I know it would be too long.

  2. Isn’t it about time these green clowns stop trying to change the laws to suit themselves down here.

    As you say Mark, those with a conscience will choose. Choose I say, Without government intervention, and use it as a selling point if it’s such a boon to the local community to be seen to be green, and I don’t doubt that many already do.

    They can’t get a State or Federal seat as many of them have already proved, so city council is the next best thing. It’s time they did what was right for the community instead of their misguided ideology.

  3. Peter says:

    Really don”t like the Libs but your points make sense.
    Imagine every council coming up with its own set of laws.
    We would end up with a screwed up legal system like the USA
    The more we read about this Fremantle council the more concerned we become, it looks like you are better off being oblivious, then at least you would not feel so shafted

    • Mark says:

      Peter good point on the American county system is has some real problems, sometimes we forget the basic systems Australia has that helps make our country a great place to live.
      We really need to be vigilant on small groups trying to over regulating our cities. What amazes me is the Mayor is against bike helmets and the police enforcing the traffic code, but he wants to penalize businesses for doing business, which form of the nanny state is worse?
      Welcome to Fremantle Reform thanks for your comment.

  4. At least the Libs have the courage to stand up to these petty political grandiose statements that do nothing to improve the business environment in Fremantle. I think if they spent as much effort on encouraging the BID and Chamber of Commerce to engage with the businesses in Fremantle and encourage business to show a sign on their business showing their “use of biodegradable plastic bags”, then they might actually help the business in Fremantle in a very positive way.

    Unfortunately, most councilors are even worse business people than they are local councilors and lack even a basic understanding or vision of whats required, except for Bill Massie, who has run businesses and never supported this stupid law in the first place. The rest of them should be taken out and flogged for wasting ratepayers time and money for pursuing this.

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