Ban single-use plastic bags in NSW
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So far South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and the ACT have banned single-use plastic bags. Queensland will join them next year.
NSW is lagging behind the other states and territories and our oceans and marine life are suffering, as seen in the ABC News report on Sunday February 12 about Clifton, the juvenile Green Turtle which almost died from ingesting plastic.
Single-use plastic bags make up a significant proportion of the 10 tonnes of plastic waste that litters Sydney Harbour each year. As a long-time sailing journalist I've noticed more and more waste floating and washing up onto NSW beaches.
The two big supermarkets rebuff criticism by saying they comply with government regulations and Woolworths told me they continue to offer single-use bags to give customers a choice.
Tough for Clifton and his turtle mates to make the right choice when a floating bag looks the same as a jellyfish.
If the big two aren't going to lead the charge by banning the bag, or at the very least charging for them during the phase-out, then it's up to the NSW state government to bring in new policy.
It's also up to us as shoppers to change our habits and switch to reusable bags. It can be easy to forget and leave our reusable bags at home - if they are put back in the car after unpacking the shopping they should be handy each time.
Let's reduce our reliance on using so much plastic, starting with the single-use bag, and lessen the number of marine deaths via entangling and ingesting.
Image: Clifton recovering at Taronga Zoo's Wildlife Hospital, credit Nicole Chettle/ABC News
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