Media Release: Byron Marine Park clogged by plastic

In Parliament | 18.02.16


Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, and Byron Shire’s Deputy Mayor, Paul Spooner have waded through Main Beach, Byron Bay pulling out plastics to draw attention to the need for the Government to get behind Labor’s ban on plastic bags.

Every year tonnes of plastics are removed from waterways across the state, comprised mostly of plastic bags and plastic drinking containers.

Mr Spooner invited Ms Sharpe to Byron Bay to see the Cape Byron Marine Park.

Labor has announced that it will introduce a private member’s bill this year to ban the use of single use plastic bags.

Labor has also called on the Government to move quickly on a container deposit scheme.

Labor would like to see a cash-for-containers scheme modelled on the successful South Australian system which has been operating for some time.

Together, these actions will reduce waste, landfill and help minimise other negative environmental impacts of plastic bags, including to marine life.

Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe MLC says:

“Across the country, hundreds of thousands of plastic containers and single use bags end up in waterways like this.

“I am calling on the Government to back Labor’s plastic bag ban and get on with implementing a container deposit scheme as soon as possible.

“Plastic bag bans have worked in the ACT and South Australia. Cash for containers has also worked in South Australia.

“This is about bringing NSW in line with other states and territories and playing a leading in conservation – particularly on the east coast of Australia.”


Paul Spooner, Deputy Mayor says: 

“Cash for containers has worked in South Australia. In December the Government released a discussion paper on what a NSW container deposit scheme would look like.

“Public consultation is open until 26 February 2016 and today I am calling on the local community to get involved and make a submission.”