Ban the bag
It’s not a great claim to fame that Australians are among the highest waste producers in the world. Australian Bureau of Statistics show that we generate almost 48 million tonnes of rubbish each year – that’s around 2.1 tonnes from each of us. Nearly half of this rubbish is either being dumped in the environment or sent to landfill where it cannot be recycled.
One of the biggest culprits is single-use plastic bags. Australians use around four billion plastic bags every year – that’s a whopping 10 million or so each day. And, according to Greenpeace, an estimated 50 million of these end up in our waterways and oceans.
Take the plastics pledge: Ban the bag
While most plastic bags are only used to carry our shopping home, they can last for more than 1,000 years. And with over fifty million plastic bags ending up in our environment each year, they’re having devastating effects on marine life, water systems, and landscapes. In fact, Greenpeace research shows that around 30 per cent of the world’s turtles and 90 per cent of seabird species have ingested plastic debris.
Greenpeace is calling for a ban on bags up to 70 microns thick, including degradable and biodegradable bags. These bags are generally the grey, thin shopping bags you get at a supermarket checkout – the ones that barely make it to the car without tearing yet bizarrely last hundreds of years.
South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and ACT already have successful plastic bag bans in place and now it’s time for residents living in the four biggest States – Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia – to step up and take plastic bags off the menu for marine life.
Call on the NSW, QLD, VIC or WA State Environment Minister to ban plastic bags now. Choose your State’s petition below: