NO MORE EXCUSES - BAN THE BAG NOW!
In 2005, every Australian state and territory agreed to phase out plastic bags. However, only four have; NT, ACT, SA, and TAS. Since then, billions of plastic bags have been littered in NSW, VIC and WA.In November 2016, QLD committed to ban single use plastic bags under community pressure. There was significant support for a ban on single-use plastic bags (including biodegradables) with 27 000 submissions in QLD.
NSW, VIC, and WA are yet to take action. State premiers say they support a ban on plastic bags if it were a national ban. Gladys Berejiklian (NSW) says she would support a ban on plastic bags, but she wants a national ban. Daniel Andrews (VIC) also supports a ban, but he would also prefer a national ban, and Mark McGowan (WA) says he supports a ban, but instead of a state ban or even a national ban, he wants WA councils to ban plastic bags. We have heard these excuses to delay before with our cash for containers campaign. States can move on bags without waiting just like QLD did last November.
Who is going to be the last to ban the bag? NSW? VIC? WA?
There is strong momentum and public support in Australia for a ban on plastic bags. We need to show these states that the community is ready. Take action by adding your name to the open letter today to let the ministers know you support a ban on plastic bags!
No more excuses! It’s time to #banthebag.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLASTIC BAGS?
Studies have shown that plastic bags pose one of the greatest impacts to ocean wildlife and with increasing evidence that even though a small percentage of bags are littered, they break up into smaller and smaller pieces –having devastating impacts on the environment. This includes so called ‘biodegradable’ bags, which are just as dangerous in the marine environment.
Plastic pollution is a major threat to wildlife. Globally it is estimated that 1 million seabirds and over 100,000 mammals die every year as a result of plastic ingestion or entanglement. Of great concern are the secondary microplastics derived from broken up plastic bags and bottles.
With the CSIRO Marine Debris Report 2014 estimating there are over 124 billion individual pieces of visible plastic littering the Australian coastline and a large legacy of plastic from previous years becoming microplastic – it is evident that action needs to be taken on multiple fronts.
It is estimated that some 180 million bags enter the Australian environment every year. That's 5.8 bags a second. The Senate Inquiry also called for a ban on bags, stating: “The committee recommends the Australian Government support states and territories in banning the use of single-use lightweight plastic bags. In doing so, the Australia Government should ensure that alternatives do not result in other pollutants entering the environment.”