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Community Survey Results

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					                               Community Survey Results
The Bagbusters Community Survey is implemented throughout
Council at a variety of venues and assesses community behaviours
and attitudes towards plastic bags. Data from surveys completed by
1,000 Marrickville shoppers has been analysed and results are
presented below.

Survey Participants

Participants completed surveys in exchange for a free Bagbusters
calico bag at community events, such as Marrickville Metro-Keep
Australia Beautiful event (58%), Cooks River Eco-fest (10%),
Marrickville Festival (10%), Australia Day Event (6%), and Domenica
Italia Festival (4%). Other surveys were completed electronically via
Council’s Citizens Panel (5%) and E-newsletter (8%).

Seventy-three percent (73%) of respondents were from suburbs within the Marrickville LGA, while
the remaining respondents were from other council areas (27%). The majority of respondents
were female (71%), with those over 30 years of age (90%) comprising almost all female
respondents. Males comprised 29% of survey participants and were more evenly distributed
among age brackets. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of participants indicated that English was their
primary language. The remaining 41% indicated that the following languages were their first
language: Chinese (28%); Greek (23%); Vietnamese (14%); Arabic (8%); Portuguese (8%); and
other (19%). The most common ‘other’ languages were Italian (22%); Spanish (10%); Indonesian
(6%); and Turkish (4%).

Only 33% of respondents had previously heard of the Bagbusters program. Primary sources of
information about Bagbusters included: advertisements (29%); festivals and community events
(23%); Council media/publications that included The Watershed (21%); and participating retailers
(16%).

Plastic Shopping Bag Behaviours

Only 6% of respondents reported that they do not use plastic shopping bags at all. Of the
remaining respondents, the majority (51%) use 1-5 plastic bags per week. Thirty-one percent
(31%) use 6-10 plastic bags per week, 10% use 11-20 per week, and 2% use over 20 per week
(Chart 1).

Chart 1: Percent of respondents (n=994) that report using plastic shopping bags on a weekly basis.



         60%

         50%

         40%

         30%

         20%

         10%

          0%
                    0            1 to 5        11 to 20       6 to 10      21 or more



                               Number of plastic shopping bags used
The majority (69%) of participants did not know where they could recycle plastic bags in the
community (Chart 2).

Chart 2: Percent of respondents (n=979) who report they know where to recycle plastic shopping bags.




           70%

           60%

           50%

           40%

           30%

           20%

           10%

            0%
                                  No                                Yes


Furthermore, of those who indicated they knew where to recycle their plastic bags (n=307), only
slightly more than half could accurately name the proper location to bring their bags (n=178, 58%)
(Chart 3). Not surprisingly, most respondents (56%) do not recycle any plastic shopping bags per
week (Chart 4).

Chart 3: Percent of respondents who reported they know where to recycle plastic shopping bags (n=307) and
the percent that could accurately identify correct locations.



  60%


  50%


  40%


  30%


  20%


  10%


   0%
            Inaccurate location         Accurate location                 Unclear*

        *Unclear if respondent knew accurate location or this response was left blank.

Chart 4: Percent of respondents (n=964) that report recycling plastic shopping bags on a weekly basis.
          60%


          50%


          40%


          30%


          20%


          10%


          0%
                     0              1 to 5         6 to 10        11 to 20       21 or more
                         Number of plastic shopping bags recycled per week


In spite of continued plastic bag use, 90% of survey participants reported using reusable eco-
friendly bags. Most respondents (60%) use 1-5 reusable bags per week, while another 24% use 6-
10 reusable bags weekly (Chart 5).

Chart 5: Percent of respondents (n=983) that report using reusable shopping bags on a weekly basis.


    70%

    60%

    50%

    40%

    30%

    20%

    10%

    0%
                0          1 to 5            6 to 10         11 to 20        21 or more
                    Number of reusable shopping bags used per week


Citizens reported several reasons why they still use plastic shopping bags. Forgetfulness was the
most cited reason (41%). Examples of comments related to this topic, included:

•   Carelessness and poor planning;
•   Reluctance to return to the car to retrieve reusable bags;
•   Forgetting to bring bags from home or the boot of the car;
•   Not having a bag with them for impulse purchases; and
•   Having reusable bags with them, but running out because more items were purchased than
    intended.

Another 20% of individuals reported that they reuse plastic shopping bags to line their rubbish bin,
discard of pet waste, or carry lunches. Other barriers to plastic bag reduction included: nothing
(8%); convenience (7%); and cost (e.g. plastic bags are free and alternatives are not) (3%).
Additionally, 3% of respondents indicated they prefer to package produce, meats, and dairy items
separately from other groceries and 2% indicated that shop assistants automatically place items in
plastic bags (Chart 6).

Chart 6: Percent of respondents (n=775) that cite various reasons for continued plastic shopping bag use.
 45%

 40%

 35%

 30%

 25%

 20%

 15%

 10%

  5%

  0%
       Forgetfullness   Reuse plastic   Convenience      Cost of     Produce or wet   Nothing   Shop assistants
                           bags                       alternatives       foods




Attitudes towards Plastic Shopping Bags

The Bagbusters community survey assessed three major aspects of citizens’ attitudes towards
plastic bags:

1) to what extent respondents think plastic bags are a problem in Marrickville;
2) whether respondents would still shop at businesses that do not provide free plastic bags; and
3) the degree to which citizens agree with a ban on plastic shopping bags in Council.

The majority of respondents either strongly (55%) or somewhat (37%) agree that plastic bags are a
problem in Marrickville Council (Chart 7). Sixty-three percent (63%) of respondents either strongly
agreed or somewhat agreed that they would continue to shop at a retailer that no longer offered
plastic shopping bags (Chart 8). An overwhelming majority of respondents (83%) either strongly
or somewhat support a ban on plastic bags in Marrickville Council (Chart 9).

Chart 7: Community Survey: “How much do you agree with the statement, ‘Plastic bags are a problem in the
Marrickville LGA?” (n=994)



                               Strongly disagree
                                      3%
                        Somewhat disagree
                              5%




               Somewhat agree
                                                                        Strongly agree
                   37%
                                                                             55%




Chart 8: Community Survey: “How much do you agree with the statement, ‘I would not shop at a store that did
not provide free plastic shopping bags?’” (n=980)
                                                    Strongly agree
                                                         14%

            Strongly disagree
                  34%

                                                            Somewhat agree
                                                                23%




                                Somewhat disagree
                                     29%




Chart 9: Community Survey: “How much do you agree with the statement, ‘I support a ban on plastic bags in
the Marrickville LGA?’” (n=975)


                      Strongly disagree
                             6%
            Somewhat disagree
                 11%



                                                               Strongly agree
                                                                    50%


              Somewhat agree
                  33%

				
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