The NSW Greens are calling on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to step up and permanently ban single-use plastic bags across the state this Plastic Free July.

Australians use up to an estimated 4 billion light-weight plastic bags a year. South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT have already banned the bag, with Queensland joining them from July 2018.

Greens Marine spokesperson Justin Field said the rising tide of plastic is choking our oceans and marine life, polluting our rivers and having a toxic impact on our health and that of future generations.

“An estimated 50 million plastic bags end up as litter in the environment each year in Australia, mostly in our waterways and ocean, where they kill and injure dolphins, turtles and other marine life.

“The NSW Government is lagging behind other states and territories in taking action on plastic pollution and banning single-use plastic bags,” Mr Field said today.

“We can make a difference as individuals by refusing single-use plastic during July. Take a keep cup to the café, use refillable containers, pop your shopping in a reusable bag and avoid takeaway utensils.

“The community is already taking action but more needs to be done by our politicians. A recent Boomerang Alliance poll showed 63 per cent of NSW residents support a plastic bag ban [i].

“It’s time the NSW Government’s backed the community and rapidly phased out single-use plastic bags and other single-use plastics. Every day we delay is a missed opportunity for reducing our pollution, protecting marine life and creating a healthier future for NSW,” he said.

[i] http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/mediacentre/media-releases/oceans/JOINT-RELEASE-Call-to-cease-plastic-bag-plague–new-poll