25th November 2016
The NSW Greens have called on Premier Mike Baird and NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman to follow Queensland and ban single use plastic bags in NSW. The call follows an <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-25/queensland-to-ban-single-use-plastic-bags-from-2018/8056084">announcement</a> that Queensland will ban the bag by 2018 after a meeting of commonwealth environment ministers failed to get agreement on a national scheme.
The Greens have a bill sitting in the NSW Parliament that would ban lightweight shopping bags being given out or sold by retailers to customers to carry away goods. The ban will focus on plastic bags of less than 35 microns, which includes single-use, lightweight bags such as grocery bags with handles, and other bags used to carry away products such as take away food, or alcohol.
Greens NSW Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC said:
“Queensland has shown real leadership in committing to phasing out single use plastic bags and now it is time for NSW to step up and ban the bag.
“NSW risks being one of the last hold outs, with South Australia, the ACT, Tasmania and the Northern Territory already banning the bag.
“The Greens have a plastic bag ban bill in Parliament, ready to go. For the sake of our environment, we need decisive action from the NSW Government” she concluded.
Greens NSW Marine Environment Spokesperson, Justin Field, MLC said:
“An estimated 50 million plastic bags end up in the environment each year in Australia, mostly in our waterways and ocean, where they kill and injure dolphins, turtles and other marine life.
“Local communities around Australia are already pushing local businesses to go plastic free and some national retailers have shown they can operate effectively without plastic bags.
“There is no reason similar practices cannot be adopted by supermarkets and shops throughout NSW, there are plenty of alternatives to single use plastic bags.