Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash
Australia is making a push to fight the use of single-use plastics with new proposed laws. New South Wales wants to ban many common plastic items like: straws, drink stirrers, cutlery, as well as polystyrene cups. Plastic shopping bags are next on the chopping block with laws proposed that could ban them in as little as six months.
These laws all depend on the availability of alternatives such as bamboo and paper. The measures are estimated to stop about 2.7 billion plastic items from getting into the oceans and environment in the next 20 years.
New South Wales Environmental Minister Matt Kean had this to say about it:
No-one wants to be wading through plastics when they go to the beach, let alone be consuming it in their food and water, and that is what we are doing at the moment. Every day in New South Wales people are consuming over 2,000 bits of plastic. That is the equivalent of a credit card of plastic they are ingesting every week and it is largely because of the pervasiveness of single-use plastics across our environment. So, we believe that we can do something about that. Do something about it where there are alternatives available and when it does not add to cost and that is what I am looking to see.
The Western Australia state is ambitiously tackling waste. Coffee cups and their lids are next on their list of items to phase out. They hope to have them banned by 2022.
These moves and others like them will help protect and keep our oceans clean. Let’s hope more nations and states can join in with Australia.