Eurobodalla Council will step up its lobbying for an Australia-wide ban on single-use plastic bags and is encouraging local businesses and the community to do the same.
It follows a notice of motion making five recommendations put forward by Deputy Mayor Anthony Mayne at last week’s Council meeting.
Council will write to the NSW and Australian Government advocating a ban on single-use plastic bags, promote positive steps taken in the community to reduce single-use plastic bags and formalise a policy to ensure disposal plastic is avoided at Council activities and events.
More than four billion single-use plastic bags are used in Australia each year and while many are disposed of at landfill, some end up in the environment where they can cause great harm to bird life and marine life. As well as being mistaken for food, plastic bags break up into smaller fragments that release toxins and absorb other chemicals in sea water, such as pesticides and detergents, creating highly toxic particles that can enter the food chain. A recent clean up on the Clyde River foreshore found more than 100 single-use plastic bags within a 100m stretch.
Council and the community have been proactive in trying to minimise the use of single-use plastic bags in recent years. Mogo and Tilba have already banned them in their towns and many businesses voluntarily introduced plastic bag bans.
Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes said Council was not in a position to enforce a regional ban on single-use plastic bags as it would require voluntary participation of all Eurobodalla retailers.
“Facilitating a voluntary ban amongst local businesses would take up considerable time and Council resources,” Clr Innes said.
“A simple and practical way of working toward a solution is for Council to advocate strongly for a national and state-wide ban and to educate residents about plastic bag use.
“Our community has been clear in the past that it would support a ban on single-use plastic bags, and a state-wide or national ban is the best way to move forward.
“I encourage the community to lobby alongside Council by going online and signing the #BanTheBag petition, established by The Project and Clean Up Australia.”
In addition to taking an advocacy and education role, Council will continue to reduce its use of disposable plastic bags in its operations and will support efforts to do so in the community.
Sign the petition to #BanTheBag in NSW, Victoria and WA at https://www.change.org/p/ban-plastic-bags-across-nsw-victoria-and-wa