Greens welcome Plastic bag ban, not happy with Minister’s comments

Robin Chapple MLC
WA Greens Environment Spokesperson

The WA Greens have welcomed the Government’s announcement a ban on plastic bags will be implemented in 2018, but say the Environment Minister’s comments trivialised what is an urgent and complex environmental concern.

WA Greens Environment Spokesperson Robin Chapple MLC said he was particularly encouraged by suggestions that the ban would focus on barring retailers from supplying plastic bags, rather than simply incentivising consumers to change their behaviour.

“I moved legislation in July to introduce quite strong measures restricting many single-use plastic items, identified as the most damaging to our oceans and ecosystems, and I’m glad to see this government have incorporated elements of our legislation into this announcement,” Mr Chapple said.

“We will of course back this ban all the way however I am concerned by comments the Minister has made which I, and many of my constituents, feel have trivialised the issue.

“It is absolutely preposterous to suggest that extending the ban to include plastic straws and balloons will ‘make parent’s lives more difficult’, especially in the context of the struggle faced by some parents in this state every single day.

“We have communities in the Goldfields where kids are getting sick because they have no access to safe drinking water, single parents struggling to make ends meet and families and communities whose very livelihood is threatened by aggressive exploration or drought.

“These issues make parent’s lives more difficult; banning balloons and other single-use plastic items might be a minor inconvenience to some, the benefits of which would be exponential and long-lasting for generations.”

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