Every year, Australians use FOUR BILLION PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS!
Sadly, our environment doesn’t know what to do with all this plastic and it’s causing havoc in our oceans, so the local branch of Surfrider Foundation is lobbying the State Government to have plastic shopping bags outlawed.
“Plastic never fully breaks down,” says Surfrider spokesperson and Coledale resident Suzie Crick. “And it doesn’t mix well with nature. Soil studies are finding tiny plastic particles are clogging our landfill and our marine life is feeding on it.
“Marine phytoplankton produces 70% of the world’s oxygen and now even they’re feeding on the tiny particles in our water. In fact a recent study by the CSIRO found 50% of all marine life is impacted by plastic.”
Suzie says plastic is simply a poor design choice. “There are groups all over the world looking to develop a different ‘recipe’, but in the meantime, plastic is cheap, lightweight and durable, she says, ” but it’s nasty!”
Victoria and Western Australia are also yet to implement plastic bag bans. QLD has committed and is waiting for legislation to go through. Bags have been outlawed in all the other States and Territories.
“The banning of single use plastic bags was supported unanimously in the Australian Parliament 2016 Senate Inquiry Report on the Impacts of Marine Debris,” says Susie, “so it is only a matter of time before it happens. But the longer we wait, the more damage is done to our environment.
Meanwhile, UOW is on board and is taking incredible steps to reduce their plastic footprint.
“The Uni Bar has totally embraced the idea,”says Suzie. “And they’re leading the way so other cafes and restaurants on campus do the same.
“Wollongong Council is supportive of the initiative but they’re powerless to enforce anything without State Government support. The legislation has to come from the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian. ”
The recent ABC Series War on Waste has people talking about the issue, now Suzie says it’s time to take drastic action.
“We all use plastic bags,”she says,”but if they weren’t there, we’d have to use something else. It’s that simple.
“Our generation is so terribly dependent on plastic and all of this unnecessary waste isn’t a good legacy to leave to our grandchildren. If we rethink what we are doing, and consider the consequences, I am certain we can change our plastic dependance.”
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has put out a draft submission on the NSW Litter Prevention Strategy asking the public to comment.
“I urge you all to ask them to create some noise- to address the problem of plastic bags- because it wasn’t really addressed in the draft,” says Susie. “How can we reduce our litter while we have a constant flow of non-compostable plastic bags in circulation?
“Australians use 3.92 BILLION plastic bags per year. When NSW bans plastic bags then that number will reduce considerably.”
You can comment HERE:-
You can also send an email to the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and ask her to ban plastic bags IMMEDIATELY. Contact Gladys at: https://www.nsw.gov.au/contact-us/contact-the-premier/
And.. you can send an email to Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton MP at https://nsw.liberal.org.au/contact-2/