The Ban the Bag Port Macquarie movement took their collective message to the streets on Saturday with a flash mob performance in the Glasshouse forecourt.
Some 50 concerned residents – young and old – participated in the event, attracting plenty of admirers.
Importantly, their message – to ban plastic bag use in the Port Macquarie-Hastings – resonated with many of the on-lookers.
To the strains of The Beatles’ Octopus's Garden, the flash mob wore turtle shells, carried cut outs of whales, fish, sharks and dolphins and highlighted the dramatic environmental impact plastic bags have on our waterways.
Ban the Bags Port Macquarie spokesperson Maria Doherty said the issue had garnered support from business and corporations in the region.
“The support has been overwhelmingly huge from the community,” Mrs Doherty said. “All local businesses, big and small, have been onboard. They all said that they were completely behind the campaign and get why it is environmentally a huge issue.
“This is about protecting future generations.
“One plastic bag is used on average for just 12 minutes yet takes a 1000 years to break down in landfill.”
Mrs Doherty said the group was ‘absolutely thrilled’ with Coles and Woolworths’ decision to remove all single use plastic bags. That decision was announced on Friday.
“It was going to happen but it is fortuitous that it will happen sooner Australia-wide,” she added.
The decision by two of the major players in the grocery industry will add further weight to Ban the Bag’s push for Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to lend its support to the environmental issue, Mrs Doherty said.
“On Wednesday we will be addressing council and asking them what they are actually doing to reduce platic bags to landfill.
“We want council to be a leader and become the first council in the state to ban the bag. No one remembers who did this second.
“This would be great for council to embrace, support and act on.”
The group plans to meet outside the Port Macquarie library at around 5pm before walking around to the council chambers.
Ban the Bag Port Macquarie is the brainchild of Maria Doherty and Linda Perkins. Its petition has reached over 4000 signatures and will form part of the presentation to council.
The pair have created a Facebook page and Instagram account and linked them to a petition for the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.