Shopping in Moruya is greener thanks to the BYO Bag campaign. The 10 month campaign, which closed last month, enjoyed broad support from business owners with surveys showing that the majority of shoppers in Moruya are remembering to bring their reusable bags when shopping. “One of the biggest challenges for consumers making the move away from plastic bag waste is based on past shopping habits. We are proud that this campaign has helped tackle the task of changing the behaviour of our shoppers,” said Jude Manahan, President of the Moruya Business Chamber. Ms Manahan said "The BYO Bag committee conducted face-to-face surveys with local businesses last month to measure the effectiveness of the campaign. The survey responses were overwhelmingly positive, with Moruya shoppers showing their environmental awareness by saying no to plastic bags." "According to the survey results, a majority of shoppers are bringing their own bags while others are looking for an alternative to plastic bags. Over a third of the 32 businesses surveyed had stopped the supply of plastic bags since July 2018 with another 25% planning to stop once current stock is depleted. “The survey confirms that Moruya business are listening to their customers by moving with the times and away from single-use plastic,” said Ms Manahan adding "The main supply of single use plastic bags into the community environment is via business counters. Small business has much to contribute when they no longer offer single use plastic bags to customers and can also save themselves money too. The purchase of non-plastic bags in smaller quantities, reflecting the shrinking number of customers asking for bags, is more often than not equal or lower than the initial spend. The Moruya Chamber president said "While some state there is an increase in cost, larger businesses surveyed have reported a big saving with the stop of plastic bags.The Moruya Business Chamber supports local businesses and strives to strengthen the Moruya town identity, as exemplified with the success of this campaign. "The BYO Bag campaign is officially closed and the banners around town have come down but shoppers can be assured that the Chamber will continue to encourage businesses to cease the supply of plastic bags to customers. “We hope customers will continue to do their part in saying no to plastic bags, by bringing their own bags when shopping and actively seeking alternatives to plastic,” said Ms Manahan. “The BYO Bag committee is proud that the ‘BYO Bag, Let’s be plastic bag free, Moruya’s project has been successful in strengthening Moruya’s identity as a progressive and environmentally caring community. In turn, this will help us all build a confident town centre that both supports and attracts local business.”
The BYO Bag project received financial support from Eurobodalla Shire Council and Southern Phone Company, which allowed the committee to spread the BYO Bag message to Moruya shoppers.