COUNCILLORS have unanimously voted for the waterfront area of the Shellharbour marina to be a plastic bag-free zone.
Councillor Peter Moran moved a notice of motion at the July 1 council meeting, calling for a report on how to encourage the Waterfront precinct at Shell Cove to be a plastic bag-free.
Cr Moran said the last thing the community wanted was a marina full of “unsightly litter”.
“We see many places around the country where plastic bag-free is the way to go and towns look better for it,” Cr Moran said.
“If we’re going to have a one and a half billion investment down there, why not make it look as good as it can.”
Cr Moran said it would be in the best interest of the council, financially, aesthetically and environmentally, to encourage business owners who plan to operate in the marina precinct to be plastic bag free.
“This is a simply a report about how we can encourage a small number of people that this is a good idea, rather than allowing the plastic bag culture to move in at the marina and then try to change community behaviour later, if we see an issue arising,” Cr Moran said.
Councillors Kellie Marsh and Paul Rankin suggested an amendment to the motion to allow the use of biodegradable bags.
However, Cr Moran said biodegradable bags also posed a significant threat to the fish and other species.
Mayor Marianne Saliba and Councillor John Murray both supported the motion as a positive initiative of council.
“I remember a time when we all took string bags and canvas bags to the shops,” Mayor Saliba said. “If we can encourage that kind of behaviour, then it’s really good and this is a great opportunity to do that.”
This month, council’s Waste Management team announced they would roll out the Plastic Free July campaign and hand out free Onya bags containing five mesh bags for fruit and vegetable packing at Shellharbour shopping centres.