A leading example
In an effort to eliminate plastic bags The Bondi Farmers Market have collaborated with Bondi Beach Public School Community to go plastic bag free. The market commenced the transition to go plastic bag free in 2015. At the time the school were already driving environmental sustainability in both education programs and operations. Ross Alexander the Market Manager said “when we realised the markets had the potential to be a powerful example for the school and wider community we knew we had to make the change.” Over 2015, all forty five (45) stallholders have sought alternatives to plastic bags. The success of the initiative was attributed to the range of alternative bags and suppliers available. To celebrate the achievement and spread the message students at the school hand painted and sold more than 450 unique totes. Importantly, the move away from plastic was readily embraced by the wider community. This was reflected by the rise in customers that started to bring their own bags and the fact that those who forgot made no complaint about paying extra for alternatives.
The Bag Share Scheme Another simple way the markets are promoting change is through the Bag Share Scheme. “Basically, it works similar to a car share scheme. We have a designated storage box where people can donate or borrow bags to do their shopping. We feel this is a very practical way to engage shoppers in reducing single use bags” says Ross.
The plan to be bigger and better Activities will not stop here, with big plans set for 2016. “Now we have taken these first steps we have realised how much more we have to do. Our next step is to introduce these policies to the larger Sunday Market and in addition, look at improving our waste management and recycling operations.”