NSW is now the only state not to have announced or implemented a ban on single-use plastic bags, and Greens MLC, Marine spokesman and spokesman for the South Coast Justin Field thinks it’s time that changed.
The NSW Greens have welcomed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement that NZ will phase-out single-use plastic shopping bags over the next year.
Australians have historically used up to an 4 billion light-weight plastic bags a year.
Mr Field said NSW cannot afford to ignore the rising tide of plastic that is choking the oceans and marine life, polluting rivers and impacting our health.
“The New Zealand Prime Minister has recognised the massive impact of marine plastic pollution and shown leadership in listening to community concerns and banning single-use plastic bags,” he said.
“The state government should follow this example.
“Every year in NSW thousands of marine animals are injured and killed by plastic pollution in our oceans. There is one way to fix it - it's time to put an end to single use plastics.
“NSW has fallen behind the rest of the country and many countries around the world when it comes to reducing litter and protecting our marine life.
“The community is ready for change but Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her government have not backed them up.
“Next week in NSW Parliament, I will introduce ambitious laws aimed at reducing marine plastic pollution, including banning single use plastic bags, straws and other easily replaced items by the end of 2018 and phasing out all single-use plastics in NSW by 2023.”
The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Marine Plastics Reduction) Bill strives for a rapid decrease in the amount of plastic in the environment, with a target of a 90 per cent reduction in the amount of plastic waste that enters the ocean by the end of 2020.
“The Greens have long led the political debate about waste and pollution and we are putting forward an ambitious but essential plan to address the harm from plastic products,” Mr Field said.
“We will stand with the community and keep up pressure for the change needed.”