Archive for August, 2011

NT to ban use of plastic bags by next July LINDSAY MURDOCH

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

August 12, 2010
THE Northern Territory government will ban the use of plastic bags by July next year as part of its climate-change policy.

Environment Minister Karl Hampton said the ban would reduce the use of 40 million non-biodegradable plastic bags in the territory each year. Shops will not be allowed to sell them or give them away.

”We have already spoken extensively with peak industry and unions and believe that shoppers and retailers will embrace those changes that will make a big difference to the environment,” Mr Hampton said.

The Northern Territory move follows a similar ban in South Australia last year, where grocery stores charge 15 cents for reusable plastic bags.

Jon Dee, from the environmental organisation Do Something, said it was disappointing that federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett had failed to follow through with a promise to introduce a nationwide ban.

”Fortunately some states and territories are moving ahead despite inaction from both sides of federal politics,” Mr Dee said.

Ian Kiernan, chairman of Clean Up Australia, welcomed the Northern Territory’s move, saying plastic bags were serial killers because once a bag was ingested by an animal, the animal died and released the bag back into the environment to kill again.

”We’re in a crazy situation where it is estimated that Australians throw away over 7000 recyclable plastic bags a minute, with 429,000 recyclable plastic supermarket bags dumped into landfill every hour,” Mr Kiernan said.

In the territory, shoppers will have two main alternatives – reusable ”green” bags and biodegradable or compostable bags.