Tweed Shire Council did it last week, and Ballina councillor Keith Williams is hoping his fellow councillors will follow that lead by joining the push to ban single use plastic bags.
Cr Williams has lodged a notice of motion to be considered at this week’s meeting which urges the NSW Government to introduce legislation to ban single use plastic bags to a level at least consistent with other State Governments such as South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.
Cr Williams, who is also the acting general manager at the Australian Seabird Rescue group based in Ballina, also wants the council to ‘actively promote and encourage the minimisation of the use of single use plastic bags through the Community Connect publication’.
‘Australia currently uses 4 billion single use, plastic shopping bags per year,’ Cr Williams said.
‘The impact on oceans and wildlife is devastating, with marine plastic debris considered a key threatening process for sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals.
‘The ABC TV Series, War on Waste, recently highlighted the difficulties in recycling plastic bags in Australia and demonstrated that the vast bulk of bags end up in landfill. At a huge cost to our community.
‘On 14 July 2017, Woolworths and Coles announced a voluntary phase out of single-use bags to be completed within the next year.
‘This means the two greatest obstacles to the introduction of a ban have now been surmounted. Council has previously supported resolutions to reduce or eliminate single use, plastic shopping bags. ‘