More than 3,000 plastic bags cleared from Walcha paddock in one day

Bagged: Tony Martin and his mother Shirley stand in one of the paddocks adjacent to the Walcha rubbish dump. On the day this photo was taken the paddock was the cleanest it had been in a long time according to the Martins.

Bagged: Tony Martin and his mother Shirley stand in one of the paddocks adjacent to the Walcha rubbish dump. On the day this photo was taken the paddock was the cleanest it had been in a long time according to the Martins.

The damage plastic bags can do to the environment is well documented however the danger is closer to home than many realise according to one local family.

“My mother owns land on the southern and western side of the local tip,” said Tony Martin. 

“Over the last decade she has lost two head of cattle to plastic bags.  Despite repeated drenches and penicillin we could not save them.”

One of the animals was a valuable breeder cow on her first calf, the other was a poddy steer.

“We appreciate the Council is doing the best it can controlling the plastic bags, but they still hang in trees, fences and dams,” said Mr Martin.

“Birds foraging are a major problem, but if we can eliminate the plastic bags, the problem will be solved.  One local council worker actually counted 3000 plastic bags that he picked up in my mother’s paddock in one day.

We have to look after the environment.  There are alternatives – let’s all think about using cloth shopping bags.”