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Just Under One Million Shoppers Say ‘No’ to Plastic Bags

Media Release - 6 May 2011

A ‘Say NO to Plastic Bags’ initiative by Harris Farm Markets aimed at reducing the environmental impact of plastic bag usage has achieved a substantial reduction of plastic bags in just six months with almost one million shoppers saying ‘no’, and simultaneously raised $50,000 for Clean Up Australia.

The initiative saw 5 cents donated by Harris Farm Markets to the leading environmental not-for-profit organisation every time a shopper said ‘NO’ to a plastic bag. The program surpassed expectations with over 900,000 shoppers enthusiastically embracing the initiative.

Accepting the donation from Harris Farm Markets, Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman of Clean Up Australia congratulated Harris Farm Markets and its customers. “It’s great to see such practical leadership by such a well known and respected retailer. When customers go to their Harris Farm Market they know they are not only getting best quality produce, they’re also getting best practice retailing.

“Customers voted YES for this initiative by simply saying NO – and Clean Up applauds the near million shoppers who did just this. You have made a very real difference and I hope to see this initiative continue by making every shopping experience a YES to good retailing by saying NO to plastic bags”.

Proving local shoppers could truly make a difference, Harris Farm Markets has also recognised customers of its Potts Point store for making the biggest contribution to the initiative, giving them the opportunity to grant $10,000 to a local environment project of their choice.  Following a community vote in March 2011, the Nature Conversation Council of NSW was named as the recipient of the special donation. 

“The Potts Point community should be proud of the difference they’ve made by taking their own bags when shopping. They’ve shown we can all make real changes in our everyday lives that will help save the environment and move towards a more sustainable local community. I’d like to congratulate the people of Potts Point for reducing their impact on the environment and thank them for supporting our ongoing work for a better environment,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW CEO Pepe Clarke said.

Harris Farm Markets’ plastic bag initiative was launched on World Environment Day – 5 June 2010 – and reaffirmed its dedication to sustainable retailing. Stores leading the charge with customers refusing plastic bags were Potts Point (nearly 118,000), Pennant Hills (nearly 81,000), Broadway (nearly 80,000) and Cammeray (nearly 60,000).

Director for Buying & Marketing at Harris Farm Markets, Tristan Harris, said the Company is pleased customers embraced the initiative, and in turn helped support two worthy organisations.

“A huge number of plastic bags are used throughout Australia, having a substantial impact on the environment each and every day. This initiative was aimed at encouraging customers to say no to plastic bags and in doing so, giving back to an organisation close to their hearts. Because of the outstanding results, we look forward to extending the activity in 2011.”

For more information on Harris Farm Markets’ store locations, visit www.harrisfarm.com.au .

To learn more about the Say NO to Plastic Bags campaign click here.

For further information, please contact:
Kirstin Wallace DEC for Harris Farm Markets
02 8014 5037 / k.wallace@decpr.com.au