FEDERAL parliamentarian Rebekha Sharkie has challenged New South Wales and Victoria to join the rest of the nation in banning lightweight plastic bags.
The Nick Xenophon Team MP has introduced a motion to Federal Parliament calling on all state governments without a ban on checkout-style plastic bags to introduce laws with “speed and urgency”.
She also called on the Federal Government to work with the states to bring in a national ban by the end of 2018.
“Implementing a single-use plastic bag ban in every state and territory sends a strong, consistent message that all Australians will make small changes to protect our environment,” Ms Sharkie said.
“I strongly support those states and territories that already have their bans on bags or are in the process of heading towards them and again I strongly encourage the New South Wales Government to demonstrate the same leadership shown by the rest of Australia.
“It can be done – for nine years in South Australia we have had a plastic bag ban and it’s about time that our most populous state joined the team.”
In 2009, South Australia became the first state to introduce a widespread ban on single-use plastic shopping bags.
A University of South Australia review in 2011 found about 80pc of the community supported the ban and South Australians were prepared to consider extending the ban to cover thicker and heavier plastics.