September 4th 2009
Tourists surprised by bag ‘backwardness’
Tourists from South Australia, Tasmania and Europe, were surprised at how ‘backward’ Magnetic Island is in relation to plastic bag use, according to organizers of a new petition calling for the banning of plastic ‘check-out’ bags on the Island.
“They are amazed to find plastic bags being offered on the Island” said Wendy Tubman, president of Magnetic Island Nature Care Association (MINCA), which organized the petition as a follow-up to the petition earlier presented to TCC by the MI school children.
Wendy Tubman encountered some of the visitors at the Horseshoe Bay markets recently, "There were couples from South Australia and Austria and from Coles Bay Coles Bay in Tasmania where the community banned plastic bags in 2003. They were very surprised to find plastic bags being used. Some going as far as to describe the situation as 'backward'".
With limited distribution, the ‘adults’ petition gathered 616 signatures. It was yesterday handed to TCC Councillor Vern Veitch by, MINCA member, Judy Chapman, who pointed out the enormous support for the request. “Even coming over from the Island on the ferry this morning we asked all but one passenger if they would like to sign. Of the 48 asked, 46 signed” she said.
“We ran out of time to collect signatures well before we ran out of people wanting to sign” Wendy said.
“We included tourists in our target audience as we wanted to assess the impact of a ban on our tourism industry.”
“I know that Council have suggested that we rely on educating people not to use plastic bags. But we have been ‘educating’ for a decade or more, and there are still several thousand bags a day distributed on the Island alone. The time has come to take stronger action. It has been done in lots of places around Australia, so it can be done here, on World Heritage Magnetic Island.”
“Council has been given a very clear, unambiguous message. We are confident they will find a way” she added.
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