who makes calico bags ?

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    Should be a right little earner from now on;

    ABC Online;
    Australian retailers have agreed to reduce plastic bag use by 50 per cent over the next two years.

    Major retailers have developed a code of practice aimed at halving plastic bag use by 2005.

    The states and the Commonwealth have also agreed to completely phase out single use plastic bags within five years.

    Environment groups were pushing for a levy on plastic bags.

    But federal Environment Minister David Kemp says a levy would not work.

    "When public opinion surveys have been taken of customers about what their reaction to a levy might be, many, many customers in Australia say they would pay the levy but would still continue to use the plastic bags," he said.

    "That would mean we would not be addressing effectively the litter problem."

    Greens leader Bob Brown says the Howard Government is pandering to what he calls "the big end of town" by not imposing a 25 cent levy on plastic bags.

    "It's the power of a few big vested interests who don't want to do the right thing by the environment," he said.

    Tasmanian Environment Minister Bryan Green says levies will be imposed on retailers who do not comply with the code.

    Free bags

    Residents in Sydney's north will receive free calico shopping bags today in an effort to reduce reliance on plastic bags.

    Environment organisation Planet Ark says it hopes Hunters Hill Council is the first of many areas to take advantage of the initiative.

    Planet Ark's John Dee says while the giveaway follows the announcement of a five-year national phase-out, he hopes Australia can move more quickly than that.

    "But that's really too long a period and each of us can start straight away by dropping those plastic bags and using the reusable calico shopping bags instead," he said.

    Dave R.
 
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