Plastic Bag Free NSW



Plastic Bag Free NSW

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Plastic Not So Fantastic

Plastic, once our “friend” in the fifties, has now become nature's “enemy”.

Our oceans now contain alarming amounts of plastic debris, which will take hundreds of years to break down and have tragic consequences for marine life. A recent comprehensive CSIRO ocean litter research report concluded that ¾ of all litter is plastic and that by 2050 over 90% of our seabirds would have plastic in their stomachs. Of our 11000 Australian beaches not a single one can be declared plastic litter free.

Below the waves, plastic debris, 40.000 pieces per square km, is finding its way into the food chain. The UN Environment Program described marine plastics as the new toxic time bomb. Other scientists have suggested that the problem is on par with climate change if not bigger. (The issue of marine debris was recently brought to the world's attention by the search for missing Malaysian Airliner, which was reportedly hampered by extensive floating debris).

In addition to entangling wildlife plastic is mistaken for food; floating plastics accumulate and concentrate chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and the pesticide DDT.

Since 2000 we have produced more plastic than during the entire 20th century. To produce the approximately 4 billion (conservative estimate) plastic bags, Australians used last year, vast amounts of non-renewable fossil fuels were used. Millions of bags end up on beaches, in rivers and other parts of our natural environment. In our own backyard, Lord Howe Island, plastic is killing migrating shearwaters. In the latest survey last year, one bird’s stomach contained more than 200 pieces of plastic. More than 70% of the chicks were found to have ingested plastic.

It is clear that we have to make our lives less plastic.

Dozens of countries and states around the world, from California to Bangladesh, including several states and towns in Australia, have banned the single use lightweight plastic bags with positive results. As a result of the public support, Bunnings and some other stores have decided to ban plastic bags on a national basis.

It is timely that the NSW government introduce a ban on single use plastic bags as a first step to reduce the serious effects of plastic pollution.

We're a group inspired by the vision of a plastic bag free future for NSW. Reusable bags, community bag share programs, and plastic shopping bag disincentives are all in our sights for the future.

Plastic pollution is one of the most serious threats to our oceans and marine life, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile - which doesn't biodegrade. We've had enough!

To support our cause:
- Give us the thumbs up on Facebook
- Sign our digital petition for the NSW Environment Minister at
- Share our story; and
- Show off your awesome reusable bags in your community!

Let's catch up with other leading states and countries on this important issue!

Plastic Bag Free NSW has been initiated by the Lane Cove Sustainability Action Group, Take 3 - A Clean Beach Innitiative, Marrickville Council.

Supported by Catfish Creative, Ban the Bag Illawarra, Lush Cosmetics, Australian Seabird Rescue, Eco Divers, Responsible Runners, Responsible Cafes, Clean Up Australia, Tangaroa Blue, Save the Styx, Sea Shepherd Australia, Two Hands Project, Positive Change for Marine Life, Ocean & Coastal Care Initiatives, Ocean Guardians and many more.

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New South Wales

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Date of known website activity

August 12, 2015

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Plastic Bag Free NSW Group leading the campaign Series