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July 23, 2024

Lismore to consider motion to ban plastic bags

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Plastic bags are a huge source of worldwide pollution. Photo katerha/Flickr
Plastic bags are a huge source of worldwide pollution. Photo katerha/Flickr

The Lismore City Council will this evening decide whether to support the growing local government movement to ban single use plastic bags.

Greens councillor Vanessa Ekins has lodged a notice of motion calling on her fellow councillors to write to state and federal governments urging them to introduce legislation that will ban the bags.

Cr Ekins also wants the council to contact local retailers ‘to encourage them to voluntarily and in a staged approach, reduce and ultimately eliminate single use plastic shopping bags from the Lismore local government area’.

‘Single use plastic bags are a major litter problem in our parks and waterways and can result in the deaths of many turtles, cetaceans, birds and other animal species,’ Cr Ekins said.

‘Councils around Australia are running campaigns to ban single use plastic bags and adding our voice to the chorus will encourage the other spheres of government to act.

‘Although many local businesses and residents have reduced their need for single use plastic bags, council can take a much more active role in moving toward a single use plastic bag free future.’

In response to the notice of motion, staff have pointed out that a similar motion was passed in 2012 and the governments response had been that banning plastic bags was a matter for retailers.

Since then, however, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT had all implemented bans.

NSW has said it would push for a national response rather than a state ban although Labor’s Penny Sharpe is expected to introduce legislation by the end of the year.

Staff also pointed out that while all businesses in the central business district were approached at the time, none wanted to be involved in a ban.

Staff said last financial year the waste facility recycled 76 bales of single use plastic bags and other soft plastics, amounting to 30.4 tonnes of soft plastic.

Cr Ekin’s motion will be considered at the meeting this evening, which will be held in the council chambers in Goonellabah.





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  1. Such a ‘no brainer’, this should have been implemented many years ago. Single use plastic bags are a major part of our planets environmental problems. NO SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS NOW…….

  2. Here we go, the Greenies are on the lurch again with their favourite bete noire – the dreaded plastic bag!
    If we didn’t get our plastic bags from the supermarkets, which mostly have a second life for collecting rubbish, wet togs, shoes, dog shit etc, we’d just have to buy them in bulk for domestic use. Is this what the Greenies want? Are they now lobbying on behalf of the plastic bag manufacturers?

  3. Banning the use of plastic shopping bags is just another way to help our grocery monopolies to make more profit. We re-use all shopping bags either to collect garbage or otherwise around the house. Any excess is taken to the local shop for reuse. The real ‘Single Use’ bags are the ones sold in packets as freezer bags, garbage bags etc. These will not be affected by a ban as they help create profit for the supermarkets. Sad that the greenies are so bamboozled by the big end of town.

  4. Banning single use plastic bags and other frivolous plastic packaging should be a no brainer. More than 40% of turtles and approaching 90% of all sea birds are ingesting plastic. CSIRO’s recent study showed that the only plastic product more likely to impact our marine life than plastic bags is fishing gear.

    Even if you live 150klms away from the coast, around 1 in 20 of the bags you consume will end up in the ocean.

    Recently, my organization – the Boomerang Alliance was invited to visit Byron Shire. In Mullimbimby, retailers trialed a bag ban during Plastic Free July. Not only has the town decided to continue with the ban, but the Byron Bay chamber of Commerce conducted a survey where 97% of local business supported a bag ban.

    Sure banning single use plastic bags will inconvenience us a little, but unless you have some sort of death wish towards turtles its well worth the cost.

    Well done Lismore and Byron councils for leading the way while the Baird Government sits on its hands – our sealife couldn’t ask for a better xmas present.


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