St Raphael’s students throw their weight behind bag ban

(BR) Ky Thompson, Isobelle Lynch, Jack Harper, Parneet Kaur, (FR) Kyle O'Brien, Amelia Gundersen and Kate Price have taken up reusable shoping bags.

(BR) Ky Thompson, Isobelle Lynch, Jack Harper, Parneet Kaur, (FR) Kyle O'Brien, Amelia Gundersen and Kate Price have taken up reusable shoping bags.

Staff and students of St Raphael’s Catholic School have been focusing on living Laudato Si this year, an encyclical from Pope Francis imploring people to care for this planet we all live on.

 A focus of the encyclical is the relationship between global poverty, catastrophic inequality and gross consumerism which leads to environmental destruction. 

The whole school has been examining the encyclical and looking for ways they can be better stewards of the Earth.

Staff members had a trip to our local Materials Recycling Factory to learn more about recycling and to implement recycling better into their lives and workplace.  

All were very impressed and amazed with everything that happens at the facility. It is certainly something that as a town we can all be proud of.

However Science Teacher, Danielle Gibbs, said recycling should be our last line of defence.

“The focus should be on refusing, reducing and reusing. The banning of single use plastic bags by Woolies and Coles over the last few weeks has been very exciting,” she said.

“It’s a shame not all people see this as a positive move.

“We should all get on board and support Woolies and Coles.”

Teacher Peta Bischof said the students had been learning about the impact of single use plastic bags and have written letters to Coles and Woolies congratulating them on their decision.

“Now we all need to develop good habits and remember to take our reusable bags,” she said.

“It doesn’t take long to develop the habit and we should all take responsibility for doing the right thing.

“If we all keep buying new bags each time we go, the problem does not get solved at all.

“As for people complaining about the cost; the cost is not a problem if you do the right thing and reuse.”

Other initiatives the school is developing further are; water harvesting, solar energy, paper and plastic recycling, reducing the use of single use item, sustainable vegetable gardens, flora regeneration and promoting nude food. 

The students letters encouraged both Woolworths and Coles bans and supported the companies efforts in corporate social responsibility.

Just some of the students letters are included below:

I think that banning single use plastic bags is an important step in caring for our environment. However I think more can be done such as replacing vegetable and fruit plastic bags with recyclable bags like mushroom bags and only selling mesh bags at the counter rather then the 15 cent bags. Thank you for starting a good initiative.


We are the Year 12 students at St Raphael’s Catholic School, Cowra and we would like to personally thank you for working towards a more sustainable future for us.

Your recent decision to ban plastic bags and other forms of single use plastics, is the beginning of your contribution to reducing plastic in our environment.

We have learnt that:

  • 10 million plastic bags are used a day in Australia and are one of the deadliest types of plastic pollution.
  • Plastic pollution affects at least 700 marine species.
  • Some estimates suggest that at least 100 million marine mammals are killed each year from plastic pollution.

We hope this is the first step in reducing all other forms of plastics in grocery stores and will help the public of Australia to understand the negative impacts of plastic on our environment.

We are glad you are upholding your corporate social responsibility and representing the ethical values of your future customers. Thank you. 

St Raphael’s Year 12

Myself as well as many St Raphael’s students are very thankful for your plastic bag ban. You’re helping our environment regardless of some peoples complaints.

You’re doing what is truly right and good in this world by making a significant environmental change. We thank you very much. 


Everyone at St Raphael’s is very happy that you have banned the one use plastic bags. We are proud you have taken the idea and put it into real action. You are helping Australia and the world from polution. We thank you. 


Thank you for removing plastic bags. It has made a big impact on the environment. Thank you again for saving so many fish, wales, birds and other animals. 


The decision to phase out single use plastic bags is an excellent initiative to change the future of the environment. I know it will significantly improve the state of the environment and raise awareness of environmental issues. 

Jack and Isaak

Us students as St Raphael’s Catholic School in Cowra appreciate the decision to ban plastic bags. Thank you for helping save the environment and encourage others to be more environmentally friendly. We hope you continue to promote your great work, knowing that St Raphael’s students and many more people support you, and are backing the change. 


Cheers for helping the environment by creating a plastic bag ban. We appreciate the decision as it is saving our community, native animals and improving our overall world. This is the start of a chain reaction we hope to see happen not only throughout Australia, but the world.