Vinnies cuts plastic bags by 50,000

IN three months since 28 St Vincent De Paul Society shops across the North Coast phased out single use plastic bags, figures show 49,997 were removed from circulation.

The Society's North Coast retail operations manager Kim Boyd said this included numbers from the most recently opened Vinnies shop in Bellingen.

"From the start of this year our shop volunteers have been asking people to either bring their own bags or to buy one of the Vinnies-branded cloth bags on sale,” she said.

"The proceeds from these bags will also be used to assist local people in need.

"It highlights the negative impact of plastic bags on the environment, especially the damage done to marine life.

"Vinnies is pleased to be in the forefront of the push to end plastic bag use in retail outlets and welcomes recent moves by major businesses to follow suit.

"Our shops have an environmental focus on the rescue and reuse of quality clothing and household items that might otherwise go to landfill.

"Providing good value to customers is the other part of the equation.

"In addition, lesser quality clothing items are bundled in our processing centre in Goonellabah and exported to developing countries.

"We also produce clean bags of rags that are popular with painters, mechanics, car detailers and so on.

"Each year Vinnies recycles and reprocesses hundreds of tonnes of clothing and sundry goods that would otherwise be wasted.

"Along with helping the environment this earns precious funds to assist people doing it tough in our region.

"The move away from plastic bags reflects our commitment to being good environmental citizens of the North Coast.”

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