Single-use plastic bags and microbeads — commonly found in beauty and cleaning products — will be banned across Australia from 2021 under a Labor plan to cut waste. Currently supermarkets have introduced a ban, which initially caused uproar. Picture: AAP Image/Peter RAE
Single-use plastic bags and microbeads — commonly found in beauty and cleaning products — will be banned across Australia from 2021 under a Labor plan to cut waste. Currently supermarkets have introduced a ban, which initially caused uproar. Picture: AAP Image/Peter RAE

Plan to kill off plastic bags for good

Single-use plastic bags and microbeads will be banned across Australia from 2021 under a Labor plan to cut waste.

The move, designed to protect vulnerable wildlife and reduce the amount of waste generated, is part of a planned $290 million spend by Labor aimed at making Australia cleaner for future generations.

"Plastic has a devastating impact on our natural environment - more than a third of the world's sea turtles were found to have plastic waste in their stomachs, and it is estimated around 90 per cent of seabirds eat plastic waste," a joint statement from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Labor senators Penny Wong and Kim Carr and environment spokesman Tony Burke said today.

If Labor wins government they will consult with states, territories and industry on how best to introduce the ban, which the party said would create consistency after many jurisdictions moved to phase out plastic bags.

Other planned initiatives include a national container deposit scheme, a $60 million national recycling fund, the appointment of a national waste commissioner, and $15 million to help neighbouring countries clean up the Pacific Ocean.

"Australians want action from government to help reduce waste and build a circular economy," the Opposition's statement said.

Australian retailers Coles and Woolworths banned their single-plastic bags last year, causing uproar among shoppers. Picture: AAP Image/Peter RAE
Australian retailers Coles and Woolworths banned their single-plastic bags last year, causing uproar among shoppers. Picture: AAP Image/Peter RAE

 

"So while many Australians do their duty - they recycle, compost, use keep cups for their morning coffee - we need the government to take a leading role to tackle some of the big, structural problems.

"For too long the federal government has left issues of recycling, plastics and waste to state governments and local governments.

"Plastics and waste are now becoming both a national and international problem."

Social media has been set ablaze by the proposed policy, with many supporting the idea of a nationwide ban.

 

 

 

 

 

Not everyone thought it was a good idea though, declaring it "not a smart move".

 

 

Some major Australian retailers banned plastic bags last year, initially causing an uproar with shoppers.

But within three months, the country's two leading supermarkets Coles and Woolworths, saw an 80 per cent drop in the consumption of plastic bags nationwide, according to the National Retail Association.

Plastic microbeads have already seen a drop in use as part of a voluntary move by companies to eliminate them.

What do you think of the proposed nationwide ban? Let us know in the comments below

 

Microbeads are tiny particles added to products to help with a deeper clean, often found in beauty products and cleaning items. However they often end up in the stomachs of turtles and other sea life as well as birds. Picture: Fred Dott/Greenpeace
Microbeads are tiny particles added to products to help with a deeper clean, often found in beauty products and cleaning items. However they often end up in the stomachs of turtles and other sea life as well as birds. Picture: Fred Dott/Greenpeace


7 jobs going in Gympie region now

premium_icon 7 jobs going in Gympie region now

Looking for work in Gympie region? These are the positions vacant

8yo Gympie girl awarded for compelling anti-bullying image

premium_icon 8yo Gympie girl awarded for compelling anti-bullying image

There were more than 4000 entries across the country

SHOCK: Axe falls on 20-year plan for major Gympie sport hub

premium_icon SHOCK: Axe falls on 20-year plan for major Gympie sport hub

Council will also be keeping a close eye on existing facilities