World Heritage Magnetic Island - worth caring for...
REDUCING PLASTIC BAG USE ON MAGNETIC ISLAND
Students from Magnetic Island State School (MISS) (L to R: Jasmin Ruttiman, Olivia Illidge, Maeve Glavin-Quane) present a petition from students asking Council to help them ban plastic bags on MI
(Photo: Wendy Tubman)
MINCA member Judy Chapman presents the adults petition in support of the petition from MISS students
(Photo: Wendy Tubman)
The average plastic bag is used for 5 minutes, but can take 1000 years to break down in the environment.
Following a spate of distressing events in which wildlife was killed or injured as a result of ingesting plastic bags in the environment, students of Magnetic Island State School (MISS) decided to petition Townsville City Council to ban the use of plastic bags on Magnetic Island. Led by Olivia Illidge, assisted by Maeve Glavin-Quane and over 100 students signed the petition, which read:
We,the kids of Magentic Island, are part of the future generation that you are borrowing the environment from. We want you to look after it well, so we and our children have something to look forward to. We are worried about the number of plastic bags ending up in our creeks, landfills and the ocean. We can cut down on the amount of plastic rubbish by stopping shoppers from getting new plastic bags every time they buy something.
We ask that you ban plastic shopping bags from World Heritage Magnetic Isalnd. Hopefully one day the rest of the world will follow our example, and exterminate plastic bags everywhere, for good.
There is hope!
Within a short period of time, 616 had adults signed a petition to TCC supporting that of the MISS kids.
Australians throw away about 7150 recyclable plastic bags a minute; 429,000 such bags are dumped in landfill every hour.
Following the presentation of the petitions, Councillor Vern Veitch came to the island and, with Olivia, Maeve and Jasmin, visited 22 local businesses to discuss with them the problem of plastic bags. The response was positive.
Since then, Olivia and her mother, MINCA member Libby Illidge, and fellow member Anne Cole, have developed a strategy for phasing out plastic bags on the island and have met with and gained the support of Magnetic Island Community Development Association (MICDA), Magnetic Island Residents and Ratepayers Association (MIRRA), Tourism and Business Organisation Magnetic Island (TOBMI) and the Member for Townsville, Mandy Johnston.
The campaign is on-going.
Click here to read a story about the Anti-Plastic Bay campaign in the June 2011 edition of citylife magazine.