Greens call for plastic bag ban to save the oceans

THE Greens are calling for a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags in NSW.

An estimated 50 million plastic bags end up in the environment each year in Australia, mostly in waterways and the ocean where they injure and kill marine life.

Greens candidate for Ballina, Tamara Smith joined the Positive Change for Marine Life group in Byron Bay on Sunday morning to announce the Green's proposed legislation to ban disposable plastic bags by the end of 2015.

"Plastic grocery bags damage our environment and marine ecosystems, and New South Wales must stop lagging other states and adopt legislation to ban them," she said.

"South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT have successfully banned lightweight plastic bags, so there is no excuse for NSW to allow them.

"Previous Labor governments have toyed with plastic bag bans or levies but never delivered, and the Nationals have done nothing to prevent plastic bag pollution.

"The ban will be similar to laws in other states, which ban lightweight shopping bags from being given out or sold by retailers to customers.

"It will focus on plastic bags of less than 35 microns, which includes single-use, lightweight bags.


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