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Old Bags Day
12 May 2009

Kangaroo Island was the first region in South Australia to practise being plastic bag free. Old bags turned out in droves soon after the legislation banning single-use plastic bags passed state parliament.

The Island is renowned for its abundant wildlife and native vegetation, so it’s only natural Islanders want to reduce their use of plastic bags. The major stores took the chance to practise for the ban. Drakes in Kingscote and Hog Bay Stores in Penneshaw took all plastic bags off their checkouts. On-site live old bags reminded shoppers, nicely of course, to bring their bags in from the car or use a box instead, and gave out free bags from The Islander and Zero Waste SA.

Displays featured old bags – from trolleys to totebags, some from far-flung lands. Almost every retail business on the Island agreed to be plastic bag free on the day. Ingrams Home Hardware gave away a composting bin for the best suggested plastic bag alternative. At KI tourism ‘hot spot’, Seal Bay, the Department for Environment and Heritage displayed the dangers of plastic bags to some of Kangaroo Island’s iconic animals, the basis of the Island’s tourism industry. KI Council set up a composting display on the Queenie Lawns, and gave composting bins to local school campuses. Children’s Services demonstrated nappy disposal with minimal plastic bag use. Old Bags Day badges (card, not plastic) were decorated by the women at Kingscote’s Community Health Centre and school children made colourful posters.

And on 4 May 2009, Kangaroo Islanders happily continued without plastic bags, as they knew they could.

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