What’s happened to Fremantle Councils Missed Opportunity with Plastic Bags

plastic bag smile1

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. Given Fremantle another brand, it would even opened 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 usage or whatever 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 choose 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.

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. Fremantle banning bags will no practical measurable outcome for the environment, its just another cheap political stunt, some banner waving to distract from real issues the cities has. Its also another example of poorly spend rate payers money for something that will have little or no benefit in the end at all.

If what the Fremantle council says is true why do Fremantle business use plastic bags why do they have them at all?

If customers didn’t want plastic bags they would not use them.

So if what the council says is true that business and customers don’t want them then the bags would not be in shops and customers would chose not to take them. If the community feeling was so strong this issue would have sorted its self out by now

We don’t need another level of government making laws.

Banning plastic bags in Fremantle would achieve nothing, Fremantle’s retail is dying as it is, how many people in Fremantle shop outside Freo where the ban would stop. So just bringing back their plastic bags from other suburbs.

It’s ridiculous to think the plastic bag is legal on the east side of East St and illegal on the west side of it.

The efforts should be placed making the bags ban for the whole state or country.

While the council is preaching why do they use single use plastic bags in their own street bins with no garbage separation? Fremantle city council can’t even supply recycling bins in the streets it all goes straight to land fill

recycle bins

Something Fremantle Lacks

Why does the council not have separated garbage for commercial operations in town instead everything goes into one bin for land fill I guess.

Perhaps they should get their own house in order first before dictating to the world how it should be?

America already has a screwed up system with county’s making their own laws and enforcing them, lets no go down that path and leave law making to the State Government. Its starting to look more and more political the actions of Fremantle council and less and less like a local government to take care of services and amenities to the resident and rate payers of Fremantle.

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

Peter Katsambanis MLC has said  the businesses he has spoken to are not in favour, hes probably better off to not to name them so they don’t have to suffer any backlash from some of the extremists.

Bid to block plastic ban irks councils I’m always amazed to hear councillors say how they speak for the majority especially when so few people actually vote in local elections. If the MLC is so out of touch with community wants/concerns etc, again I ask why so many people use plastic bags and so many businesses have them, if community will was as strong as they make out, this issue would be self regulating with customers refusing plastic bags or not returning to shops that use them, businesses not wanting to lose customers would naturally change their operation to keep customers happy, but that’s not what happening, so who’s out of touch with what the real majority want?

Bid to block plastic ban irks councils

“Mr Katsambanis last month introduced a motion to disallow Fremantle’s plastic bag ban. The law has been tweaked since Fremantle’s last attempt was disallowed by the parliamentary committee charged with reviewing local laws, which includes Mr Katsambanis.

Mr Katsambanis said Fremantle retailers had overwhelmingly told him they feared being disadvantaged if the ban went ahead. He said allowing councils to introduce plastic bag bans “ad hoc” would lead to uncertainty and disadvantage local small businesses.

“Local governments have an important role to play in their community but every law or by-law that they pass is subject to review by the State,” he said. “Many of these retailers have expressed fear that if they went public with their concerns there may be a backlash from council or the proponents of the plastic bag ban.”

Fremantle Council Whats the Real Deal on Plastic Bag Ban?

Fremantle’s Plastic Bag Saga

So I guess we are waiting for parliament to sit so we can find out what the outcome will be.


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  1. Diana Ryan says:

    I wish all our towns and cities within Perth had rubbish separation bins in public places – as well as take aways, food halls, etc. I wonder why we don’t? There must be a reason? When I have seen them they are in open, busy places with lots of people and it encourages people not to goof off and spend the seconds determining which of the three bins to dispose through.

    Story I wanted to share, as it irked me no end when I saw Murdoch Uni create a problem that then needed a solution and then grants and then awards and claps on back and I always thought “did we even need to go down this track in the first place?”.

    Years ago, Murdoch Uni had several cafes and that was enough. People got to get away from their desks to go to them, and they drank from china cups which were picked up, washed, reused.

    Then came “coffee to go”. The trendy thing. The American thing. Suddenly we had little pop ups around, and tons of disposable cups and trays.

    Then came appointing a committee to look in to this waste, a grant was applied for and received, and the scheme put in place to deal with the large amount of new rubbish was then given an award for innovation….. and I just thought, as I do now about how many flights so many people now take in the name of climate change, sustainability, liveability, placemaking: “Is this really necessary?”. Aren’t we just having our “disposal cup” and “flying it too?”, if you follow my meaning….

    So there are things we could do but we don’t – at least not without rules, laws, regulations that annoy or incentives that cost a bomb. Then we go and invent new ways to waste resources, when it wasn’t and isn’t really necessary to do it.

    • Mark says:

      Diana fantastic grasp of reality. This the exact point I made in an earlier blog post about making problems to find solutions for, this is a typical freo council issue, make a problem to find a solution to claim what a great job they are doing.
      I lived in Switzerland in the early 90’s they where more advanced in recycling and garbage separation than Fremantle is in 2015, 25 yrs later. That tells the story right there.
      When I went to the migros, I was even required to separate white, green and brown glass for recycling. In freo today we just throw all garbage into one bin in the city. Suburbs are lucky to even have a public rubbish bin.
      But we just spent $1000.00 and $1000.00’s of rate payers funds for Brad to go Europe to tell us how to make our city more livable, when he has not even got the basics that European’s where doing 25 years ago.
      It reminds me of my Dad when I was a little kid, and I would ask questions about things, often I got the analogy of first you must learn to walk before you can run. Son learn the basics its critical, freo we cant even separate public rubbish and Brad is talking about centralised vacuum style waste removal. Which I have worked with since the mid 90’s.
      Its 1st step is knowing what to put where, ie 1st teach the community to basically separate rubbish before u get technical.
      Its just another distraction from their failure to even implement basic fundamentals in our city.
      Their plastic bag law is another perfect example
      Love your points.

      • freoishome says:

        Good points Diana.
        Mark, you and I both know that this isn’t a CoF created issue, but why ignore a knocking opportunity!
        We both know that like several Local Authorities Fremantle use the SMRC Regional Resource Recovery Centre, and it is that facility that governs the style and type of garbage collection undertaken.
        So Fremantle has a two bin system because RRRC has two processes for garbage. Two different trucks collect from their respective bin, and they each get processed in their prescribed manner. The yellow topped bin for general garbage, the green top for compostable material. Strangely, RRRC information card/calendar that all residents are supplied, tell us that you can also put 10% general garbage in the green top bin as well! It is strange, because when one attends the RRRC information tour, they demonstrate the issues following that guide create for their staff at the processing site!
        Nothing that CoF can control!
        So how about hearing you rant and rave about SMRC. Get the names of the people in charge and do some name dropping, maybe while you are at it, you could find out their political leanings, and if they are lefties give them a going over while you are at it!

        • Mark says:

          Paul I think you missed the whole opportunity bit that has nothing to do with the SMRC.
          Fremantle council has a councillor on the SMRC DEPUTY CHAIR, REGIONAL COUNCILLOR, who was in the past the chairperson. COF also have a person who sits in on the REGIONAL EXECUTIVE GROUP of the SMRC
          We the rate payers pay for this service, a service I believe which costs us more due to its performance issues. How we can have a recycling system for domestic and not have one for the public bins? This has nothing to do with the SMRC operation but how Fremantle decides to put out bins for people to use.
          If I go to Pt Walter they have lovely looking bins with garbage separation that look nice in a public place and there is plenty of them and I have never seen them overflowing. Now correct me if I’m wrong but Melville is a member of the SMRC as is Fremantle.
          It amazes me that with all the chat from the Fremantle council on the environment Fremantle has such a dated system for rubbish separation.
          After Brads Junket trip to Japan to check out the incinerators, the public meeting on waste at council following that Junket trip, he raised the 3 separation bin system as used by i.e. City of Stirling, for Fremantle as part of a trail system. Now if it was possible to be part of a trail then I guess we could still do it now, SMRC or not. Since then I have not heard a thing about it.
          Further recently the city entered in an MOU with the SMRC for them to try and sell the facility but with the understanding that we would continue to use for the next 10-20 yrs.

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