MAKE THE SWITCH: The Spar store at Alexandra Headland is switching to paper bags.Store owner Bruce Luchterhand loads up the paper bags.
MAKE THE SWITCH: The Spar store at Alexandra Headland is switching to paper bags.Store owner Bruce Luchterhand loads up the paper bags. Warren Lynam

Coast supermarket bans plastic ahead of law change

THE plastic bag ban was successfully passed through unanimous vote in the State Parliament on Tuesday, but this Coast store is already ahead of the curve.

Alexandra Headland SPAR were the first supermarket in Queensland to ban plastic bags in favour of paper as of last Friday and owner Bruce Luchterhand said the move had been embraced by his customers.

According to Mr Luchterhand about half of shoppers are happy to buy a paper bag or bring their own, the rest have been forgoing bags altogether.

"It's an educational thing," he said.

"People get it because we're on the Sunshine Coast, we have a beautiful area with a lot of holiday makers and they say it's a great idea to get rid of the plastic."

The single use plastic bag ban will come into effect on July 1, 2018 after bipartisan support, but Mr Luchterhand said he didn't want to wait to be "forced" to change.

"We wanted to make a statement," he said.

"Even with the legislation, retailers still have the option to sell heavy duty plastic bag.

"That's no better, I think we need to be courageous and get rid of plastic all together."

A medium sized paper bag at the store will set you back 30 cents or 40 cents for a large, with 5 cents going to Sea Shepard which Mr Luchterhand has teamed up with to begin regular beach clean-ups in the area.

Mr Luchterhand said only a couple of people had made negative comments about the change, but the younger generation were more supportive of the initiative.

"The biggest challenged we have is people my age," he said.

"They're saying 'there's not an issue with plastic bags, it's all rubbish, I don't believe in climate change'."


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