EVERY second, 159 single-use plastic bags are used across Australia.
Of the five billion plastic bags used by Australians every year, it is believed about 150 million end up as litter.
Single-use plastic bags are still readily available at retailers across the Eastern states of Australia (New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria), despite being banned in Canberra, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
To shine a light on the issue Nambucca Shire Council plans to restrict the supply and sale of plastic bags.
At Thursday’s meeting, council resolved to make representations to the Mid North Coast Regional Organisation of Councils (MIDROC) and/or the proposed North Coast Joint Organisation to lobby retailers and the NSW Government for legislation and other action to discourage single use plastic shopping bags.
They resolved further to make representations to the Minister for the Environment and the Member for Oxley in relation to supporting legislation to discourage single use plastic shopping bags by, for example, only making them available for a minimum 10 cent payment.
Council’s General Manager Michael Coulter said the recommendation came after requests from local residents.
“We had a request from residents wanting council to take action in relation to single use plastic bags,” he said.
“The recommendation was supported unanimously by councillors.”
He said while the council could make representations to the State Government about the legislation, the length of the process was unsure.
“How long is a piece of string,” he said.
“The role of council is to try and galvanise some thought from other councils and community to make it happen. If everyone is of a similar mind, then the state government should act.
“However there has to be some definition as to which retailers it would affect and how the tax is applied. Supermarkets are obvious but there are lot of others using them too.
“So there's got to be a bit of thought put into it.”