Media Release: Labor Renews Calls to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags

In Parliament | 07.03.16

Sunday 6 March 2016



An army of volunteers across NSW today will spend thousands of hours removing plastic bags from beaches, waterways, parks and roadsides as part of Clean Up Australia Day.

The annual event serves as a reminder of the impact of single-use plastic bags on the environment and the need for urgent government action to stop further destruction of marine life and ecosystems.

In December last year the Labor Opposition challenged the Baird Government to place a ban on single-use plastic bags across the state. The ban would bring NSW in line with the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

Labor’s policy would see NSW become the latest and most significant state or territory in Australia to introduce a ban on the lightweight plastic bags.

Despite public support for a ban on the bags, Mike Baird’s Government has done nothing except pay lip service at a series of interstate meetings.

A recent roundtable meeting of State and Federal environment ministers resulted in a decision to form yet another committee to investigate banning single use plastic bags.

The 2015 NSW Rubbish Report published by Clean Up Australia Day reiterated the need for a ban with 40 per cent of all rubbish collected falling within the plastics category – a ten per cent increase on 2014 figures.

The report can be read here.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Opposition Luke Foley

“NSW should lead the eastern states in banning single use plastic bags.

“We have an obligation to take reasonable and sensible steps to protect the environment for future generations.

“It’s not good enough for the Baird Government to provide lip service on this issue. The public wants action.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe

“The Government has gone round in circles with round table after round table. Let’s stop the talk and get on with banning single use plastic bags.

“Each and every year Clean Up Australia reports on the huge volume of plastics polluting the environment. We need to take action to curb the trend.”