SA to ban plastic bags

Thursday, 19 June, 2008

TEC welcomes the introduction of legislation to the SA government tomorrow that seeks to ban single-use lightweight plastic bags in the state.

“This is great positive step in the fight against pollution and it sends a clear message to the other states and the national government. Australia wants and needs this ban,” said Jane Castle, waste campaigner for Total Environment Centre.

The legislation proposes that the ban comes into effect on 1 January, 2009 and from this point all retailers will be required to offer a reusable bag, with single use bags still available and a complete ban of all polyethylene bags under 35 microns weight from May.

Heavier bags, such as those from departments stores, will be exempted, as will bin liners, but a review after six months will determine if the ban needs to be adjusted for any potential product switching.

“Plastic bags are an environmental hazard. Over four billion bags are purchased by supermarkets every year. Not only does this amount to the same energy consumption as driving the family car 35.5 million kilometres a year, but a significant majority of these bags end up floating in our waterways, killing wildlife or taking up valuable space in landfills. It's time for them to go,” said Castle.


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