You are viewing an archived copy of this website captured Fri Jan 11 14:59:10 AEDT 2013

Funding To Reduce Plastic Bag Waste

Thu 17 May 2012

Brian Wightman

Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage

The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman, today announced funding of more than $700,000 over the next three years to help reduce the number of plastic bags in the Tasmanian environment.

The funding will help move towards banning lightweight, non-biodegradable plastic check-out bags in Tasmania.

"We know plastic bags are among the worst and most visible types of waste clogging our environment, and posing a threat to our wildlife," Mr Wightman said.

"Research suggests Australians used about four billion plastic shopping bags in 2007. Many people have stopped or reduced their use of them, but we can still do more.

"Tasmanians want a clean and healthy environment, and the lightweight, non-degradable plastic bag remains symbol of waste, litter, and inefficient use of resources in our community.

"There's tripartite support in the Tasmanian Parliament for a ban on lightweight, non-biodegradable plastic check-out bags. The State Government is moving to deliver the funding with that support in mind," he said.

Mr Wightman acknowledged the contribution of the Tasmanian Greens in working constructively towards a ban on plastic check-out bags.

"I congratulate the Greens for working co-operatively with Labor in Government, to help deliver this important progressive outcome," Mr Wightman said.

The new funding will go towards:

• Developing legislation to implement the ban;
• Consultation with retailers and other stakeholders;
• An education campaign leading to the phase-out of plastic bags;
• Compliance, once the ban is in place.

The Tasmanian Waste and Resource Management Strategy 2009 is already leading efforts at improving waste management in Tasmania. 

A plastic bag ban would be implemented as part of an overall improvement in waste and litter management, and resource recovery.

Today's announcement builds on steps taken by the community of Coles Bay in 2003 - when it became the first Australian town to ban plastic bags. 

Funding To Reduce Plastic Bag Waste