Store wins war on waste with paper bag response

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Denmark’s IGA X-Press has been overwhelmed with support after the introduction of a new policy banning plastic bags last week.

Paper bags have now replaced plastic bags at the shop, with the customer paying 10 cents a bag and the store covering the remaining 20 cents.

In October, Denmark SUPA IGA attempted to charge customers 10 cents a bag but store owner Bob Cybula was forced to drop the policy by 10am after his staff were abused by disgruntled customers.

IGA X-Press owner Anton Perak said he was not deterred by the poor response only a few hundred metres away.

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“We’re sad that it didn’t work, but we thought we would go ahead with it,” he said

Mr Perak said an extensive advertising campaign and the screening of the ABC series War on Waste had provided a solid platform to launch their policy.

“The support has been fantastic — the people are for it,” he said. “It’s been a very positive response, it really has.

“It’s been fantastic.”

IGA X-Press already offers cardboard boxes and a “borrow-a-bag” system, which recycles old materials to make shopping bags that can then be used and returned under an honesty system.

Mr Perak said the local community was becoming more environmentally conscious.

“I think people are learning more and more every day,” he said.

“The more they learn and they see, you see the damage that it’s causing and they’re proud that we’re doing something about it — and we’re doing it together.

“We are working on more ideas.

“At the moment, we’re looking at the fruit and vegetables and how we can better manage plastic bag use in that sense.”

Mr Cybula said he would not bring back his plastic bag charge “at this stage” and believed the contrasting responses in policy was a reflection of different cust-omer bases.

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