Premier Gladys Berejiklian should urgently introduce a ban on single-use plastic bags after a Victoria announcement yesterday left NSW as the only Australian state or territory without a commitment to ban the bag.
South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT all have bans on plastic bags in place, Queensland is set to join them in 2018 and Victoria and Western Australia have recently announced bans. Woolworths and Coles will phase out single-use plastic bags over the next 12 months.
NSW Greens Environment spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi said Premier Berejiklian was out of step with the growing community support for NSW to join the other Australian states and territories and ban single-use plastic bags.
“The Greens call on Premier Berejiklian to announce a ban on single-use plastic bags in NSW and close the loop on a nationwide ban,” Dr Faruqi said.
“It is quite frankly a deep embarrassment that NSW is the only state not to commit to banning the bag.
“We saw during Plastic Free July that the community is ready and willing to act for change, the big supermarkets have announced plastic bag bans, all the states and territories are on board, now we need action from the NSW Premier.
NSW Greens Marine and Fisheries spokesperson Justin Field said, “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. There is one way to fix it – it’s time to put an end to single use plastics and especially plastic bags. .
“Every day we delay a ban on plastic bags is a missed opportunity for reducing pollution, protecting marine life and creating a healthier future for NSW,” he said.