Putting $20,000 - $30,000 back into the community
‘Ours is not to make a profit out of making people bring their own bags back’: Ashcroft’s pledge plastic bag savings to charity.
The ban on single-use plastic bags by the major supermarket chains has triggered a backlash from some customers who have accused Woolworths and Coles of simply trying to profit from the move.
The owner of Orange’s two SUPA IGA supermarkets, Ian Ashcroft, wants to counter this perception and has pledged any savings from the reduced use of single-use plastic bags will be put into their local charity Let’s Make Better.
“For the people who bring their own bags in, we will be able to save two or three cents on the single-use ones and we will be able to put back into Let's Make Better and the community, so we are pretty excited about that,” said Mr. Ashcroft.
While two or three cents doesn’t sound like much, Mr. Ashcroft estimates that in a year they spend between $20,000 and $30,000 on plastic bags at their Orange stores.
“In 12 months time, if everyone has transitioned from single-use plastic bags over to recyclable ones we will be able to put $20,0000 to $30,000 back to the community each year,” he said.
Unlike Coles and Woolworths, Ashcroft’s Orange supermarkets will continue to make single-use plastic bags available for customers, but they will be phased out at a future date, said Mr. Ashcroft.
“Just to stop it straight up is not the right thing for our customers. It has been quite divisive and it takes time to change that autopilot where people come in and remember to bring their bags. People that still want the free bags we will have them for a period until people are used to it,” he said.
The move away from plastics is inevitable, said Mr. Ashcroft, who is confident his customers will make the choice to do the right thing for the environment, especially when they know they are helping a local cause by doing so.
“I think over the next six weeks to six months the majority of people will have adapted, because they want to do the right thing for the environment and want to leave a better planet for their kids and grandkids, so eventually single-use free, plastic bags won't be available,” he said.
“Ours is not to make a profit out of making people bring their own bags back; it is for the environment. With those savings that we do make, we will be able to put that back to Let's Make Better, where it is most needed.”
It always amuses me how even the most obvious or straight-forward issues can stir up so much controversy. This plastic bag controversy, like so many, will blow over and become part of normal life in the very near future, and rightly so. It’s a no brainer. I wonder what some people would have to do if they didn’t have something to complain about.