As NSW finally enters the lightweight plastic bag free-era tomorrow, environmental groups have called for the government to avoid delaying action on other polluting plastics.
An enormous amount of harmful bag litter occurred while NSW dithered for years. We don’t want to have the same problem with the next tranche of items like heavyweight bags, plastic cups and balloon releases, that other states are now moving on.*
The government’s Plastic Action Plan postpones action till 2025. This is an unacceptable delay and means NSW will again be at the back of the pack by next year. The alternatives are proven and there is no need to keep reinventing the wheel on these important policies.
We are particularly focused on reusables that can be used hundreds of times. That’s genuine circular economy action avoiding single uses, saving resources and eliminating plastic pollution. Retailers also need to be careful to not be conned by reusable or compostable claims with slightly thicker bags like those recently promoted by Coles. They need to conform to a credible standard that delivers the environmental gains.
With the State Election next March, it’s time for the political parties to develop the next round of policies on plastic pollution and packaging.
Current Single Use Policies:
* without lid
** plates only
*** containers only