Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Anthony Carbines today attended a national roundtable between state governments and stakeholders to look at options to further reduce the impact of plastic bags.
The roundtable also included representatives from retailers, peak business bodies, local government and environment groups.
The meeting is an outcome of the last meeting of Environment Ministers in December 2015 and will review the experiences of jurisdictions who have already implemented plastic shopping bag bans.
Representing Minister for the Environment Lisa Neville at the event, Mr Carbines said the problem needed a coordinated approach.
Mr Carbines said the roundtable provided an opportunity to learn from the experience of other jurisdictions, such as South Australia, which has already implemented bans on plastic shopping bags.
Other options being considered include placing a levy on plastic bags, creating an education campaign highlighting the danger plastic bags present to the environment and mandatory labelling to inform consumers about their environmental impact.
Approximately 7-8 billion plastic bags are consumed nationally each year.
These contribute to litter, consume large amounts of raw materials to manufacture and contaminate recycling streams.
Plastic bags also pose a significant risk to the environment, particularly marine life, with a recent Federal Senate inquiry hearing there are billions of pieces of visible plastic in Australian waters.
South Australia, the ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania have already banned lightweight plastic bags.
Quotes attributable for Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Anthony Carbines
“Victoria is proud to be part of the conversation about reducing the impact plastic bags have on our environment.”
“It’s important we work at a national level to investigate all of the options to achieve the best result.”
“We will work with other states, the Commonwealth and industry bodies to deliver the outcomes that will best serve our environment and economy.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020