Newcastle Council has joined the national Ban the Bag campaign, joining forces with other Councils around NSW calling on the state government to implement a ban on single use plastic shopping bags.
Greens Councillor John Mackenzie argued that it was necessary Council to demonstrate leadership on the issue of plastic pollution, given that New South Wales is now the only state in Australia that has not committed to a ban on plastic bags.
Cr John Mackenzie said, “We are now in an incredible situation where all of the major retailers and all of the State and Territory Governments except New South Wales are working together on this. It is only the New South Wales Government who have failed to commit to a state-wide “ban on the bag”.”
Cr John Mackenzie said, “Plastic pollution is a scourge, and a toxic legacy to leave to future generations. We are already seeing the impacts on our marine environments. Almost a third of marine life are contaminated from plastic pollution, and a recent global study found that 83% of drinking water samples contained micro-plastic.”
Newcastle joins a growing list of Councils across New South Wales calling for a state and national ban, including Tweed, Nambucca, Northern Beaches, Lismore and Kyogle.
Cr John Mackenzie said, “Given the scale of this issue, we need to break our addiction to plastic. That’s why Newcastle Council is going further and working to eliminate all disposable plastic products at our events, in our cafes, enterprises and across our business.”
Cr John Mackenzie said, “This strong commitment by Council would not have been possible if it weren’t for the dedicated work of community groups like the Litter Collective, Take Three for the Sea and Boomerang Bags. Their tireless efforts in raising the profile of ocean pollution and plastic marine debris.”
Cr John Mackenzie said, “Council has further committed to work with local business organisations to trial plastic-free collaborations at a shopping district or main street scale. I’d love to see a future plastic-free Darby or Beaumont Street initiative. Not only could this bring our community together, it would have a significant impact on awareness and reduce Newcastle’s contribution to this pollution.”