IGA has became the latest supermarket group to stop handing out one-use plastic bags.
The owner of the two SUPA IGA stores in Orange, Ian Ashcroft, said it would stop offering customers the bags from July 1.
“We will offer several options for customers, reusable, recyclable, there will be some paper ones available too,” he said.
“We’re just falling in line with what the competition and the rest of the country is trying to do.
“I think that people are understanding that plastic bags aern’t good for the wildlife.”
The move by IGA follows announcements by Woolworths and Coles that it will be banning the bags.
One-use bags are not offered at Harris Farms or Aldi stores.
A statement from Woolworths said banning the bags would be a major benefit for the environment.
“By June 20, 2018 we will have removed all single-use plastic bags from all of our stores,” it said.
“That’s 3.2 billion bags per year removed from the environment.”
A Coles statement said its ban would take effect on July 1.
“We encourage our customers to use reusable bags when they shop at Coles and offer a range of reusable bags for customers to purchase,” it said.
“We recently introduced the Coles Better Bag which is made from 80 percent recycled material and has been designed to be reused.”
President of the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange [ECCO] Nick King applauded the moves but wants to see the ban go wider.
“We’d like to see plastic banned in Orange,” he said.
“I’d like to commend IGA for what they are doing. They are leading the way.”
He said plastics filled up local waterways and those around the world.
“They do a lot of damage, the get into the waterways, they get consumed by fish and then we eat the fish.”
He said he believed a ban on plastics would happen.
“It’s something that must happen and will happen,” he said.
Mr King said it was up to people to take responsibility for the environment and bring re-usable bags when they went shopping.
“We’re all part of the problem and we’re all part of the solution,” he said.