A supermarket chain set to take over Tolland’s IGA in October has revealed it will not stock single-use plastic bags.
Bernardi's Wagga will enforce a number of environmentally-friendly initiatives to separate it from industry heavyweights.
Co-CEO Joe Bernardi said it will begin with the ban of plastic bags.
“We do have hessian bags available and we’ll have enviro bags and reusable plastic bags – they’re heavy duty and can be reused again and again, they don’t break like others do,” he said.
“It’s important for us that the community knows that people don’t need to buy bags.
“We always offer cardboard boxes for free or they can bring their own.
He said the response in Bernardi’s other regional stores has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I’d say 99 per cent of customers are in full support of the change,” he said.
According to CSIRO research, approximately 10 million plastic bags enter landfill across Australia each day.
In addition, the chain installs solar panels on its stores and donates fruit and vegetable waste to local pig farmers.
About 50 jobs will be available as part of the store’s opening, which will facilitate a million-dollar upgrade of the Tolland shopping precinct.
“There are already applications flooding in in for the store – we’re looking to fill all positions up to management and we’re encouraging the existing IGA staff to reapply,” Mr Bernardi said.
Tolland resident Mitchell Kay welcomed Bernardi’s environmental initiative, but questioned the slated location for the store.
“People appreciate the sentiment of a business getting rid of bags, but I think people in Tolland might want something more simple,” he said.
“I’ll shop there for sure – I hope it works out but only time will tell.
“Everyone says they want to save the environment, now they have to prove it.”
The Wagga store will be the fifth establishment for the group alongside stores in Bathurst, Blayney, Forbes and West Wyalong.