17.6 C
Byron Shire
October 8, 2022

Greens introduce legislation to ban plastic bags

Latest News

It’s Ageism Awareness Day

It’s Ageism Awareness Day and the peak body for older Australians, the Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia, say we must all take action to address the scourge of ageism –  stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.

Other News

Lismore at the HART of helping transport needs

It is challenging enough when you need to get around to medical appointments let alone if you don’t have access to transport. 

Women to shine at TEDxByronBay

TEDxByronBayWOMEN is about the power of women and girls to be creators and change-makers.

Bluesfest offers Doobies as one and three day tickets go on sale?

Bluesfest has announced that The Doobie Brothers will be bringing their 50th Anniversary Tour to the festival stage on closing night of the 2023 festival weekend. 

Road access from Bilambil Heights to Tweed Heads via Scenic Drive restored

The significant washout of two sections of Scenic Drive during the devastating flood of February–March left the route inaccessible.

A journey of a step or two

Apart from organic shiraz, my latest investment in health is this mini-stepper, or ‘massage stepper’ as they call it in the country of origin.

The Tweed Artisan Food Festival is almost here

The sixth Tweed Artisan Food Festival will be held at the end of the month – the festival runs for 10 days with 20 curated events showcasing the people, the place and the produce of the Tweed.

Legislation to ban plastic bags has been introduced into NSW Parliament. (file pic)
Legislation to ban plastic bags has been introduced into NSW Parliament. (file pic)

Legislation to ban single use plastic bags has been introduced into both houses of NSW Parliament.

Ballina Greens MP Tamara Smith and Greens Environment spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi yesterday introduced the bills in an effort to reduce the impact of plastic bags on the environment, including the marine environment.

Ms Smith said it was time to take action against the ‘wasteful use of plastic bags’

Tamara Smith. Photo Tree Faerie.
Tamara Smith. Photo Tree Faerie.

‘Tens of thousands of marine animals die each year from ingesting plastic bags, which look like jellyfish and other food often consumed by dolphins, turtles, whales and other marine life,’ she said.

‘We need to get with the program as other Australian states and territories and countries took this action years ago.’

Dr Faruqi said the legislation was a Greens election promise.

‘About 50 million plastic bags end up in the Australian environment each year,’ she said.

‘This has undeniably devastating impacts on our wildlife and waterways.

‘South Australia, Tasmania, and both territories have already reformed their laws to ban retailers from supplying these lightweight bags.

‘This was a Greens election promise and it’s really exciting to see this bill go onto the parliamentary notice paper today.’

The Greens are not the only party pushing for a ban on plastic bags.

The Echonetdaily reported last week that Labor MP and Shadow Enviroment Minister Penny Sharpe was also pushing for a ban.

Ms Sharpe toured the Australian Seabird Rescue facilties in Ballina, where volunteers regularly deal with animals, especially sea turtles, which become sick after eating plastic.

Keith Williams of Australian Seabird Rescue in Ballina more than one third of sea turtles seen by the group had ingested plastic, and some bird species were also at risk.

In a study conducted by ASR, 88 per cent of the Short-tailed Sheatwaters (Mutton Birds) examined had plastic in their digestive tract.

Mr Williams said other shearwaters and petrels were also at risk.

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.


  1. This proposed legislation has good intentions but it just hasn’t worked in Tasmania. The big duopoly supermarkets have replaced the light weight bags with super thick plastic bags and they get around the legislation by stating they can be reused. They are also making an absolute fortune out of it charging $1.00 per bag and people buy them repeatedly, they all end up in land fill or the waterways and do not degrade. They remain with us for decades and decades. The legislation must state that all bags are bio degradable.

  2. This is a ridiculous feel-good initiative. All it will do is inconvenience shoppers and force supermarkets and shops to substitute tougher plastic bags at a cost to the consumer. Let’s face it, the entire plastics industry is not going to be shut down, substitutes will always be available.
    For one of the advocates to suggest, as he did on TV tonight, that a Northern Territory crocodile with 20 plastic bags in its stomach is any kind of rationale for inconveniencing people doing their daily shop is absurd.
    I hope the Baird govt. doesn’t give in to this highly unpopular move.

  3. Well first of all, they’re not single use. Like me, I’m sure most people have a collection of plastic bags at home which they reuse for lining small bins, taking wet togs home from the pool – the list is endless. If we can no longer get free bags from the shops for all these needs, we will have to start buying plastic bags. So will the use of plastic bags actually decrease? I don’t think so. Also, why are free bags at the checkout evil but all the bags you can buy in the aisle are ok? If plastic bags are bad for the environment, then shouldn’t they be banning ALL plastic bags? The bags you have to buy to line your garbage bins ARE actually single use, yet they aren’t being targeted. This policy just doesn’t make sense to me.

  4. Proposed legislation should be amended to:
    Plastic bag manufacturing should be changed that bags should be biodegradable and perish if 7 days in water.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Norco set for rebuild but what about other businesses?

While the community digests Tuesday’s news of Norco’s Lismore ice cream factory’s rebuild, Norco Chief Executive, Michael Hampson wants to stress the importance of the plight of all flood-affected Lismore businesses including small and medium size ventures.

Flood-affected youth film screening tomorrow

Flickerfest and One Vision Productions have joined forces to facilitate a workshop and free film screening that has brought flood-affected youth together to tell their stories.

Eco Festival bringing Tweed residents together to get climate-ready

The Eco Festival, to be held in Murwillumbah, aims to bring Tweed residents together for a fun, free event with practical tips to help residents prepare to be climate-ready and environmentally friendly.

More pieces added to New Italy’s history

Dr Pol Dalmau, will visit the New Italy Museum on Sunday to talk about the Spanish archives with information about the Italian families who settled in the town from 1882.