Ban small soft plastics used for meat and fruit

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A ban on lightweight plastic bags across Victoria will be rolled out by the end of 2019 however smaller bags used for fruit, vegetables and meat will be exempt, along with larger garbage bags, heavier plastic bags and animal waste bags. The ban applies to bags used by retail stores, takeaway shops and small supermarkets. 

These small bags used for fruits are just as harmful to the environment as their larger counter parts. The government has acknowledged this and said “While we would like to eventually eliminate the use of all plastic bags in Victoria, we want to be sure we have appropriate alternatives in place first”.  All the government is doing is pushing the ban of these bags further back. In the mean time single use plastic bags and other plastic items are destroying our environment. These plastics are designed to be used once and then discarded. This 'throwaway' model of consumer goods has created a global pollution crisis which is directly impacting the health of our environment, marine wildlife, oceans and human health and it's everyone's responsibility to take action. 

When plastic is exposed to UV it becomes brittle and subject to “fragmentation”. Over time disposable plastic items exposed to the elements will break up into micro plastics (smaller than 5mm) where they are more likely to enter the food chain. Traditional single-use plastic items do not biodegrade or decompose and will persist in the environment indefinitely. Over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 mammals die every year as a result of plastic ingestion and entanglement. Plankton is ingesting plastic which then “bioaccumulates” up the food chain as it is eaten by larger sea creatures until it reaches the seafood that humans consume which may result in an alarming health crisis. The small bags of plastic used for fruits and meat still have this effect, they are no different to the plastic bags that we used to see in supermarkets.

All you need to do is Google “plastic killing animals” to see the physical damage they do. You’ll notice the majority of the affected animals tend to be sea creatures like turtles, seals, and seabirds. In 2013 in Spain, scientists found a dead sperm whale and determined its cause of death was intestinal blockage. In its digestive system were 59 pieces of plastic waste totaling 37 pounds in weight. Sea turtles are now ingesting twice the plastic they were 25 years ago. In total, it is estimated that ingestion of plastic kills 1 million marine birds and 100,000 marine animals each year. All of this damage by signal use plastics is still the same when it comes to small soft plastic. This damage has to stop.