In July 2017 Environment Ministers are meeting to discuss what to do about plastic bags.
Tasmania, the ACT, The Northern Territory and South Australia have already banned single use plastic bags and Queensland is introducing a ban in July 2018.
We're making sure when they meet that the NSW, Victorian and WA Ministers know there is huge community support for taking action on plastic bags. We've joined with 49 community and environment groups, representing thousands of members, to write an open letter demanding greater action. Add your name to the open letter today to let the ministers know you support a ban on plastic bags.
There is increasing evidence that even though a small percentage of bags are littered and then broken up into smaller and smaller pieces – they have a devastating impact on the environment. This includes so called ‘biodegradable’ bags, which are just as dangerous in the marine environment.
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 – action needs to be taken on multiple fronts.
Plastic pollution is a major threat to wildlife. Globally it is estimated that 1 million sea birds 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 bags and bottles.
We estimate that some 180 million bags enter the Australian environment every year.
Thanks to our partners who joined the open letter.1,538 add your names
Environment ministers have been discussing the issue of removing plastic bags from the litter stream and marine environment for long enough.
Every Australian wants our stunning rivers, oceans and waterways to have a clean and healthy future. Plastic pollution infests waterways, clogging them with plastic bags, packaging and microbeads. In Australia, the CSIRO Marine Debris Report 2014 estimated there are over 124 billion individual pieces of visible plastic littering the Australian coastline.
The tripartisan 2016 Senate Inquiry into Marine Plastic Pollution urged Australian state and federal governments to ban plastic bags and microbeads as a matter of urgency.
Tasmania, the ACT, the Northern Territory and South Australia have already banned single use plastic bags and can improve their legislation to include 'so-called biodegradable' bags which are just as big a problem in the marine environment as conventional plastic bags.
We are calling on Environment Ministers in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia to catch up and take immediate action by banning single use plastic bags (including so-called biodegradable bags).
Plastic pollution is lethal. We need strong action now.
Helen De Silva Joyce commented on Contact 2015-09-01 14:27:26 +1000I have just sent the message below to Mike Baird’s office. When will the deposit scheme be introduced into NSW?
I note your current advertising campaign promoting your government’s commitment to building a city that will cope with another million people in a relatively short time. The advertisements present Sydney as a world city but not truthfully as one of the dirtiest world cities.
The amount of litter, especially in our waterways, is disgusting and many of the overseas visitors we show this city to comment on the filth. Most of this rubbish is plastic bottle and cans as well as takeaway coffee cups. You had promised to introduce a 10 cent deposit on cans and bottles but when is this to happen? How do you propose to convince the citizens of this world city to stop throwing their rubbish into the streets? With another million people, we’ll be wading through refuse.
Helen de Silva Joyce
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