Just a reminder that lightweight single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out in NSW from next Wednesday June 1.
There's a fair bit of confusion about what will be banned and what won't be, but I'll do my best here:
Lightweight single-use bags like the ones you still get at some take-away food outlets and shops, banned.
'Barrier bags', like the ones your ham gets wrapped in at the deli, or your fruit from the supermarket, not banned, yet.
The thick plastic bags that you get from clothing stores or big brand retailers, not banned. I know, it's stupid.
Bin liners that you can buy from the supermarket, not banned.
The biodegradable bags you get from the council for food scraps, not banned.
Single-use plastic straws, plastic cutlery, plastic plates and bowls, and expanded polystyrene foodware are not banned yet but will be from November 1. (Exemptions to the straw rule exist for people with a disability or medical need).
Not banned is my opinion: these rules do not go far enough. We must do more about the amount of throw-away plastics which are killing our aquatic life and significantly harming our natural environment. Almost every other state and every other country now have plastic bans in place, so I don't know why it's so hard for NSW to do the same.
I have plenty of reusable shopping bags at my Toronto electorate office if you're passing and want to pick up a couple.
Greg Piper has been an independent voice for the people of Lake Macquarie for more than 30 years, as a Member of Parliament, Mayor and councillor. He was elected to Lake Macquarie council in 1991, served as Mayor from 2004 until 2012 and has been the State MP for Lake Macquarie since 2007.