Plastic Bag bill welcome, ALP support for such moves long overdue: Greens

31st March 2010 - The Greens today expressed tentative support for a Labor Bill that would ban plastic shopping bags from WA retail outlets, but said that ALP support for such moves was long overdue.

 Greens MLC for the Mining and Pastoral Region, Robin Chapple said that he was pleased to see Labor had “finally caught up with The Greens (WA) in advocating a serious move away from excessive plastic bag use in retail.”

 However, Mr. Chapple said that Labor had previously not supported a similar attempt by The Greens dating back to 2002 which would have imposed a levy on plastic shopping bags.

 “The Greens have been ahead of the game on this issue but unfortunately when we first pushed for movement in this area Labor support was not forthcoming and Western Australia was left to contend with the plastic bag issue since then.”

 Mr. Chapple also said that while he gave tentative support for the Bill, which was introduced by The Hon. Sally Talbot MLC, a levy on plastic bags would still be preferable to an outright ban.

 “People will occasionally get caught without their reusable bags – it’s happened to me – and a ban would force such people to buy new reusable bags that they don’t actually need.”

 “A levy, instead, on the necessary plastic bags for such rare occasions would be help people remember to bring their ‘real’ bags… and the plastic bags they get that way can always be put to any number of uses.”

 “In addition, a levy on plastic bags could provide a source of revenue for the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Program, which as I have previously stated was subjected to daylight robbery by the Barnett Government last year.”

  •  Media Contact: Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255
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