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Grateful groups benefit from plastic bag ban

Saying no to plastic bags in Malua Bay has helped the environment twice over, with a reduction in waste and a generous donation to three local Landcare groups.

IGA Malua Bay Manager Matthew Burgess kickstarted the year with a 10 cent levy on plastic bags to try and encourage shoppers to reduce waste and bring their reusable bags with them when they shop.

“We also provide cardboard boxes, which we recycle from our deliveries, so there are plenty of ways for shoppers to get their groceries home without the need for plastic. We aim to be plastic bag free by the start of 2018.”

Mr Burguess said when looking for a worthy cause to donate the funds raised from the levy, it seemed obvious the money should go to a group supportive of environmental initiatives.

“We also wanted to keep the funds in the local community. It didn’t take us long to think of Landcare, because of the terrific work that they have done over the years in our area”.

The funds will be shared between three local groups, Lilli Pilli/Malua Bay Landcare, Mosquito Bay Landcare and the new McKenzies Beach Landcare group. These groups conduct projects on public lands with the support of Eurobodalla Shire Council and the local Landcare Coordinator, Emma Patyus.

The groups have modest plans for the funds with requests for more tools and equipment. Ms Patyus says one of the most enjoyable things about her job is working with volunteers. “These people are so generous with their time and knowledge for the benefit of the wider community. They don’t ask for much, so it’s wonderful to see their work recognised and celebrated by others.

“We’re so grateful to the staff involved from the Malua Bay shops who showed their support for these awesome volunteers and gave them a real celebration last week”.

The donation is the first gift to be received and managed by the recently incorporated Eurobodalla Landcare Network.

“We currently have 27 Landcare groups working across the Eurobodalla,” Ms Patyus said. “As Landcare in Eurobodalla grows, the best way forward is to make sure all groups are appropriately supported and to allow the movement to be more autonomous by volunteers forming their own committees.

“It’s exciting to be involved in this process with the volunteers, helping their network to get established and supporting them to make decisions that make their time volunteering more enjoyable”.

To find out more about Landcare in the Eurobodalla and how you can join, please contact Emma on 4474 7300.

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