THE Victorian Government’s announcement yesterday that they will ban single-use plastic shopping bags is welcome news for marine life says the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).
James Cordwell, AMCS Marine Campaigner said: “AMCS congratulates Premier Daniel Andrews and Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio on today’s announcement that Victoria will ban single-use plastic bags. This is a hugely significant step towards reducing marine plastic pollution in Victoria and the severe impacts it has on our threatened ocean life.
“The tide is turning on plastic pollution. Today’s announcement brings Victoria in line with other states and public support for a ban.
“Next year is set to be the year of action for banning single-use plastic bags on a national scale. Victoria must be in sync with other states and commit to introducing the ban in 2018. We encourage Victoria to also join other states in introducing a Container Deposit Scheme to further tackle plastic pollution.
“Plastic pollution travels easily from land to sea. It blows in from bins and garbage dumps, or flows through stormwater drains into our waterways – and eventually the sea. Once in the ocean plastics slowly break down into smaller and smaller pieces, which are eaten by animals at the bottom of our food chain.
“A single-use plastic bag is used on for just 12 minutes on average, yet that same bag can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Larger pieces of plastic are often mistaken for food by marine life such as the threatened green turtle or bottlenose dolphin. These animals can become entangled or strangled by plastic waste, choke or even starve – as consumed plastic obstructs their stomachs, meaning their less room for actual food.
“Victoria finally joins South Australia, ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania which already have similar bans in place, with QLD and WA to follow in 2018. We encourage NSW and Tasmania to join this national movement in cutting plastic pollution,” Cordwell said.