20 C
Byron Shire
August 1, 2021

Ballina MP welcomes bipartisan support to ban plastic bags

Latest News

Unnecessary divisions

Louise Andrews, Lennox Head Dear Mandy, an excellent article in The Echo (Soapbox, 21 July). It saddens me too to witness...

Other News

With avocados, farmer fresh is best

There are many different avocado varieties, but walk around the supermarket and you might get the impression there is...

Kingscliff’s new ambulance station won’t be on State Significant Farmland

Concerns over the new Kingscliff Ambulance station being placed on State Significant Farmland were raised following the announcement of funding for the new ambulance station by Health Minister Brad Hazzard earlier this month.

A disappointing limbo? Byron candidates on delayed council elections

Mr Dey, incumbent Mr Lyon and four other mayoral candidates were already busy campaigning for the top spot when NSW Local Government Minister Shelly Hancock delayed the election for a second time.

New gallery and studio breathes life into old church and graveyard

Was it divine intervention or western democracy that changed the fate of a former country church on the Northern Rivers last week?

US promises to return Assange to Australia a ‘trick’ says father

Lawyers for the US said Judge Baraitser ought to have sought assurances for Mr Assange’s safety in the US prison system during the extradition trial. 

Cyclist dies in collision after refusing police request to stop – Casino

A cyclist has died following a collision with a vehicle after police asked him to stop.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith and the NSW Greens have welcomed Labor joining their long-time campaign to ban single-use plastics bags across the state.

Ms Smith, the state Greens’ marine environment spokesperson, said that ‘with Greens and Labor in support, there was further pressure on the Baird government to act.

Yesterday, Labor leader Luke Foley said the opposition plans to bring forward legislation via a private members bill for debate in the NSW Parliament next year.

Ms Smith said the NSW Greens were drafting a ‘Ban the Bag’ bill ‘and we’ve had public feedback coming in on this since February’.

Mr Foley said the legislation was about ‘bringing NSW in line with other states and territories and playing a leading in conservation – particularly on the east coast of Australia’.

Ms Smith said it was time to act as ‘we must take action against the wasteful use of plastic bags, it’s the least we can do to minimise the plastic waste entering our marine environment, threatening our marine life’.

The Greens’ environment spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqui said ‘we know NSW remains well above the national average in litter so a plastic bag ban makes sense’.

‘Plastics waste is a major problem, including tens of millions of plastic bags entering the environment every year causing pollution of waterways and oceans,’ Dr Faruqui said.

‘The models already exist in the ACT, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania. It is time for NSW to catch up.’

Mr Foley said ‘across the country, hundreds of thousands of plastic bags end up in our waterways and bushlands. It’s an environmental nasty that can easily be reduced by reasonable policies on plastic bags.

‘Labor wants to see NSW become the latest and most significant state or territory in Australia to introduce a ban on the lightweight plastic bags that pollute marine ecosystems and put wildlife at risk,’ he said.

‘The proposal from the Opposition is principally based on the ACT model, which bans single use, lightweight plastic bags. South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory also have similar bans in place, while Queensland is actively considering the proposal.

‘Retailers would be able to sell re-usable bags that have a much smaller environmental impact.

‘Heavier style retail bags, bin liners, compostable biodegradable plastic bags and fruit and vegetable barrier bags would be exempt from the ban,’ Mr Foley said.

Director of the Boomerang Alliance Jeff Angel, founder of Clean Up Australia Ian Kiernan and co-founder of Take 3 Tim Silverwood joined Mr Foley and his shadow environment minister Penny Sharpe for the announcement at Maroubra Beach yesterday morning.

Statistics reveal that In NSW alone up to 61 million lightweight plastic bags are littered each year. CSIRO estimate that there are 124 billion individual pieces of visible plastic littering the Australian coastline and that by 2050, 99 per cent of all sea birds will have plastic in their gut.

Mr Foley said that ‘with more than 2,100 kilometres of coastline and tens of thousands of kilometres of waterways, NSW should take a leading role in this important environmental protection measure’.

‘More than 70 per cent of the rubbish entering our oceans is plastic, impacting on dozens of varieties of sea birds, sea mammals, turtles and fish,’ he said.

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


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. They’re barking up the wrong tree judging by the people I know. We love our plastic bags which are rarely ‘single use’. They all get used a second time, either for gathering dog poo, dirty nappies, kids’ wet togs, shoes etc etc. If we don’t get them free, we’ll have to buy them in bulk-until they get banned too! Wrong road if they’re hoping to garner votes.

  2. It is way past time we stopped using all plastic bags. If we really need to use something, surely we now have the technology to use some other material that will not harm the environment. I seem to remember paper used to work pretty well for food and groceries. Using plastic bags as bin liners is just laziness. Sort your compostables out and wrap nappies etc in paper and then put it in the bin and wash your bins after use. I’m sure with a little R&D and investment, the commercial sector, including hospitals etc, could come up with alternatives and ot finding alternatives is ignoring the true embedded cost of things.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bruns North Arm

Jillian Spring, BillinudgelRegarding your article ‘A positive change to bring back the Bruns’, (Echo, 14 July). Since 2013/14 submissions to Council, a more in-depth submission (29...

History repeats

Peter Olson, Goonengerry History shows that when the media and the politicians turn against the people, eventually there is a backlash. It seems hard to imagine The...

Byron beach erosion

Ann Tiernan, Suffolk Park I strongly disagree with Council’s position stated in last week’s Echo that ‘The sand (at Clarkes Beach) will come back, but it...

A day of ‘thank you’

Alison Drover, Broken Head How about a day of ‘thank you’ to our health workers and ‘sorry’ from our prime minister and ‘please’ from the community? Instead...