July 1, 2018.
Mark that date down in your calendar because if all goes to plan, from that day onward, popular grocery store Minto Fruit Orchard will be a plastic bag free zone.
He said it had been a slow process but they would still be moving ahead with the change.
“We’re still getting there – it’s taking a little bit longer than anticipated unfortunately. Getting the (eco-friendly) bags printed has been difficult.
“We have also been trying to educate clients to bring in reusable bags with them.
“We didn’t just want to rip the bandaid off but we are on track for the first of July.”
Mr Murdocca said it was a balancing act doing the right thing by the environment and doing the right thing by customers.
However, he was as determined as ever to make sure the shop banned the bag.
“In an ideal world we’d just tell everyone and it would be fine,” he said.
In an ideal world we’d just tell everyone and it would be fine. But we have an obligation to the environment as well as our clientele. We don’t want to lose that clientele.Minto Fruit Orchard owner Tony Murdocca
“But we have an obligation to the environment as well as our clientele. We don’t want to lose that clientele.”
Since the Advertiser’s story last year, Mr Murdocca said he had received feedback from several customers.
Some were in favour, some were not.
“It’s been mixed results,” he said.
“Some panic a bit and say ‘how am I going to carry my stuff?’. But I always carry mine in a box.”
In July last year, Woolworths announced it would move to a plastic-bag free system within the next 12 months.
Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci said the change would make a huge difference.
“We currently give out more than 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags a year and hence can play a significant role in reducing overall plastic bag usage,” he said.
“Our customers can also expect further commitments in reducing plastic use in all parts of our supply chain, especially in fruit and vegetables ... we feel this is an issue we need to take a stand on”.