NSW to ban single-use plastics: Kate Washington frustrated by lack of action

Ms Washington addressed the Chamber in response to the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Bill 2021.

 

THE New South Wales Parliament has passed a Bill to ban single-use plastics in the state by November 2022.

This decision has been long-awaited since the initial report by the Environment Protection Authority in 2015, and has since been raised by the opposition a number of times in 2017, 2018, most recently, 2019.

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Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington addressed the chamber expressing her frustration in New South Wales being the final state or territory to pass the legislation.

“New South Wales has come last.

“The Scott Morrison Government has made it very clear that banning plastic bags is not a race for them, but for those of us who value our waterways, marine life and our environment, it is,” Ms Washington said.

Australia generates more single use plastics per person than the US or any other country in the world.

“It is this government’s legacy that NSW has come last in the race to ban single use plastics.

“Their legacy that action on plastics was behind the rest of the world, let alone every other Australian state and territory,” Ms Washington

In 2009 South Australia became the first state to ban single use plastic bags followed by Northern Territory (2011), Tasmania (2013), Queensland (2018), Western Australia (2019) and the Australian Capital Territory (2021).

77 countries have fully or partially banned single use plastic bags, including countries like Rwanda, Zimbabwe.

Botswana, Malawi, Ethiopia and Uganda.

The new legislation sets to ban single-use plastics including single-use plastic bags, single-use cutlery, single-use cotton buds, plastic chopsticks, polystyrene food containers and plastic microbeads.

“The New South Wales Government has come last because the environment is its lowest priority.

“We support this bill, but in doing so, we would remind this government that protecting our environment is a race.

“It is a race to save koalas from land clearing approved by this government a race to save our rivers from the bungled irresponsible water policy, it is a race to save our state from a premier who says that any action on climate change is a gratuitous waste,” Ms Washington said.

“It is a race and NSW keeps coming last and sadly, today is no different,” she concluded.

Single-use plastics in New South Wales will be phased out by 1 November 2022, a year after the Bill was passed in Parliament.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

2 thoughts on “NSW to ban single-use plastics: Kate Washington frustrated by lack of action

  1. She is right on every count. And that attitude still persists in the government. Look at the photo, the chamber is full of empty chairs and only one other person is shown and they are completely unengaged, reading their smart phone!

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