State Labor backs report recommendations on single-use plastic bags

In Parliament | 21.04.16

Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe is calling for the Government to support NSW Labor’s plan to ban plastic bags following the release of a Commonwealth Report Toxic Tide: the threat of marine plastics.

The report conducted by a Commonwealth Senate Committee considered current research on plastic pollution and its impact on the marine environment and its potential to harm human health. 

Amongst the report recommendations are: 

  • The introduction of a nation-wide container deposit scheme

  • Banning of single-use plastic bags

  • Banning the importation and production of goods containing micro-beads 

Every year tonnes of plastics are removed from New South Wales waterways, including microplastics, plastic bags and plastic drinking containers. 

Labor introduced a private members’ bill in February this year to ban single-use plastic bags. 

And months after promising to deliver a container deposit scheme the Government is still pandering to vested interests who would rather the community pays the price for a clean environment. 

Labor is again calling for a cash-for-containers scheme modelled on the successful South Australian system which has been operating for some time. 

In line with the recommendations of this Commonwealth Report, Labor again calls on the government to ban single use plastic bags and introduce a meaningful container deposit scheme to reduce waste and to reduce the negative impact of plastic bags on our precious marine environment. 

 Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe MLC: 

“This report reaffirms the need for action on plastic pollution in New South Wales. The Government must support Labor’s plan to ban single use plastic bags in New South Wales. The Minister must immediately introduce a container deposit scheme.

“Further delay on these important environmental issues will lead to further damage to our marine environment. The time to act is now.”