14 July 2017
Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith said she was delighted with the announcement that Woolworths and Coles supermarkets will start to phase out single-use plastic bags in NSW over the next 12 months.
“This is a great decision for our environment and I congratulate the supermarkets on taking action themselves and recognising that consumers are ready for this change and in many cases demanding it,” said Ms Smith.
“It’s particularly apt that this announcement comes during Plastic Free July, where the public is challenged to reduce their consumption of throw away plastics – by bringing their own bags to supermarkets, bringing their own cups for takeaway coffee or refusing plastic straws or cutlery when eating on the go.”
“I have written to NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton to ask when single use lightweight plastic bags will be banned but I am glad to see that businesses such as these two big supermarkets haven’t waited for the NSW Government to get its act together."
"South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT already have bans on single use plastic bags and Queensland’s ban will come into effect next year. How much longer do the people of NSW have to wait for their government to take action on banning this source of plastic pollution in our landscape and waterways?”
Tamara Smith intends to reintroduce a Plastic Bag Prohibition Bill into Parliament this year if the NSW Government does not introduce its own legislation.
During Plastic Free July last year the Mullumbimby IGA went plastic bag free and decided to continue it indefinitely after positive customer feedback. Aldi supermarkets also do not provide single use plastic bags, customers are encouraged to bring their own bags or buy reuseable bags in the store.