10 May 2023

Remote stores well ahead of state’s plastic bag ban

| Cape York Weekly
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IBIS Bamaga team member Alma Gowa with a new re-usable bag that can be purchased in CEQ stores.

REMOTE supermarket operator Community Enterprise Queensland is reducing its environmental impact and expanding the single-use plastic bag ban in its stores.

As part of the state’s plan to tackle plastic waste, Queensland businesses will not be allowed to use single-use plastic bags as of September.

However, CEQ chief executive officer Michael Dykes said CEQ had chosen to proactively activate this transition by ceasing the ordering of heavyweight plastic bags in its remote stores, as part of its commitment to help local communities meet their aspirations for a healthier and sustainable future.

“This is another important step to protect our environment and create a more sustainable future for generations to come,” he said last week.

“Once the Queensland government announced it was expanding the ban of single-use plastic items later this year, we decided to act as early and as quickly as possible.

“This means that even the heavy-
weight plastic bags that we consider ‘reusable’ will no longer be allowed.

“We’ve listened, taken action, and today we’re informing all our customers that we take plastic pollution seriously.

“When we say we care, every day, always, we mean it.”

CEQ’s general manager of merchandise Casey Kelly said she was proud of her retail team for stepping up and expanding the single-use plastic bag ban well before the government deadline.

“There were several logistical challenges to get to this stage, and the team have done an amazing job,” she said.

“As of April 3, we’ll stop ordering the heavyweight plastic bags currently considered reusable, and then will phase out existing stock by introducing a suite of environmentally friendly bag options.

“We believe that by caring for the environment, we can make a better place for people to live, work and enjoy.

“Our stores are located in some of the most beautiful islands and communities in the world, and we need to protect that for generations to come.”

Mr Dykes said CEQ stores were well prepared for the changes.

“Once the ban was announced by the government, our teams immediately began working with suppliers to source appropriate range alternatives,” he said.

“We will have an exciting new range of reusable bags available.”

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