NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian should follow the lead of the European Union and introduce an immediate ban on the most polluting single-use plastic items such as plastic straws, cutlery, plates and cotton buds.
The strong EU plan targets the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear.
NSW Greens Marine spokesperson Justin Field said the NSW Government could make a big difference to the health of our rivers and ocean through a plastic phase-out that matched or exceeded the European Union’s ambition.
“Here's another government forging ahead of NSW when it comes to reducing plastic waste,” he said today.
“The Greens call on the Premier to reduce marine pollution by getting single-use plastic products such as plastic bags, straws, plates and bottles out of circulation.
“I’ve recently returned from Lord Howe Island where baby flesh-footed shearwaters are being mistakenly fed our plastic waste by their parents, leading to developmental problems and the death of many juveniles.
“Scientists often find dozens of pieces of plastic in the stomachs of birds, including bottle tops and balloon ties. It’s heartbreaking to know that our waste is causing the death of up to 10% of young Shearwaters.
“The plastic pollution problem is urgent. Action must be urgent and strategic to reduce the large amount of human-generated plastic in our oceans, rivers and environment.
“A year out from the State Election, now is the time for action on plastic pollution and introducing new laws that put an end to single use plastics, especially plastic bags, straws and bottles, ” Mr Field said.
Earlier this month, Brisbane City Council committed to a ban on plastic straws, single-use plastic bottles and releasing helium balloons at all council operations and council sponsored events.
📷: Justin Hoffman/Instagram