The vision of a plastic bag free city

Mr Michael Osborne, the Newcastle Greens candidate for the March Council elections, has called on our civic leaders to show vision and help make Newcastle the first major Australian city to become “plastic bag free”.

“Imagine the streets, shops and beaches of Newcastle free of floating plastic shopping bags. Imagine routinely taking calico bags grocery shopping, just as we routinely separate our garbage into recycling. This is the vision Newcastle councillors need to create for our city.”

“Newcastle Council used to be internationally recognised for its clean and green image. Other towns around the country, such as Mogo on the NSW South Coast have leapt ahead and taken the initiative to phase out plastic bags from their environs.”

“Coles Bay in Tasmania has similarly taken the lead and banned plastic checkout bags in all their stores. They now have recycled paper bags and calico bags instead”, Michael Osborne said. “They made headlines both here and overseas with their visionary move.”

“Living next to wetlands, estuaries and beaches makes a plastic bag free city even more important. The local marine birds and animals are especially vulnerable to a plastic bag death and it is our responsibility to do all we can to prevent this from occurring.”

“Plastic bags can take between 15 and 1,000 years to break down in the environment. There is no ?away’ to throw things, and these are long-term issues that need leadership and commitment,” Mr Osborne said.

“A survey last October showed that 87% of Australian were concerned about the impact that plastic bags have on the environment. Retailers are also demonstrating this concern with stores such as Ikea and Aldi either banning plastic bags, or charging a 10c levy on their use.”

“Our civic leaders should respond to this community concern by joining the growing number of towns declared a ?plastic bag free zone’,” Mr Osborne concluded.

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