Planet Ark News

First Australian Council Bans Plastic Bags

Date: 29-Jul-14
Author: Ryan Collins

Photo: Dave Hunt/AAP/The Guardian

Photo: Dave Hunt/AAP/The Guardian

The Guardian has reported that the City of Fremantle will become the first council in Australia to enforce a law banning plastic bags. The local government recently voted to introduce a new law banning retailers from providing shoppers with single-use, non-biodegradable plastic bags.

Around 4 billion plastic bags are used by Australians each year which equates to 10 million a day. The petroleum used to make those bags could power a car to drive around the Earth's equator 112,000 times!

The Mayor of Fremantle, Brad Pettitt, reported strong business and community support for the ban and was confident there was no legal basis for the ban to be overturned this time.

Lightweight plastic bags marked ‘100% degradable' will be included in the ban as they merely break down into smaller flakes which remain damaging the environment for years to come. Only compostable bags that comply with Australian Standards will be permitted.

This sees the Western Australian city following Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory in introducing a ban on plastic bags. The communities of Coles Bay in Tasmania, Mogo in New South Wales and the Sydney suburb of Oyster Bay started phasing out single-use bags almost a decade ago.

Find out how you can reduce your plastic bag use or even go plastic bag free.

To find recycling options for plastic bags and other soft plastics visit RecyclingNearYou.

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