LAKE Macquarie business chambers are flabbergasted at the city council’s support for a “Buy Nothing New Month” initiative.
In a press release, the council described the program as ‘‘a challenge for households to buy nothing new except essentials such as food, medicines and hygiene products’’.
Charlestown Business Chamber vice-president John Wheeler said businesses could lose a lot of money.
‘‘What if we had a campaign that said ‘don’t pay any council rates for a month’,’’ Mr Wheeler said.
Council sustainability manager Alice Howe said Buy Nothing New Month was an opportunity for consumers to consider alternatives to buying new stuff.
She urged people to ‘‘head along to our Super Street Sale in Toronto, Cameron Park and Belmont this month to pick up a few bargains’’.
The street sales aimed to ‘‘reduce waste going to landfill by recycling unwanted household items’’.
Mr Wheeler said he was ‘‘all for supporting the environment’’. ‘‘But as far as not buying anything new goes, I can’t support that,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s like saying we won’t buy anything from K-mart or Big W or anything like that – you might as well send all the staff home.’’
Toronto Chamber of Commerce president Gail Ryan said she was shocked when she read the council press release.
‘‘It was like ‘holy-dooly, what are they doing to the businesses of the local town’,’’ Mrs Ryan said.
‘‘We want to get people back to Toronto to shop locally.’’
A council statement said it was a ‘‘strong supporter of local business’’ but Buy Nothing New Month was a global movement to focus awareness on consumption habits.
‘‘The campaign is striving to reduce unnecessary purchases for one month,’’ the council said.
The council said it was an ‘‘opportunity to explore the many fabulous retailers of pre-loved, second-hand, rented or borrowed goods’’ in the area.