Last night on The Project, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that his state will be the second last in the country to ban lightweight, single-use plastic bags.
The Project and Clean Up Australia have been running a campaign to #BanTheBag, calling for the calling for the New South Wales, Victorian and Western Australian governments to ban single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags.
Part of the campaign includes a Change.org petition, making this one of the few times such a petition has worked.
If you’re wondering why NSW, Victoria and WA, it’s because South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT already have bans in place for these bags. Even Queensland had already announced plans to ban the bag before the campaign started.
The campaigns first major success came last month with WA Premier Mark McGowan announcing that his government would ban the bag.
We're taking action. Single-use plastic bags will be banned in Western Australia from 1st July 2018.
— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) September 12, 2017
In July, both Coles and Woolworths announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags. Instead offering heftier, reusable bags for a small cost.
Now that the Andrews government has joined the cause, the only state left in the country without plans to ban the bag is New South Wales. Unsurprisingly, there was some gentle chiding from Andrews about that.
— The Project (@theprojecttv) October 17, 2017
Now it’s time to see if Gladys Berejiklian will bring NSW along with the rest of the country.
It may seem like an inconvenience to take a reusable bag but the environmental costs of single-use bags are monumental. Australia dispose of approximately four billion plastic bags every year. That’s 20,700 of plastic of which only 3% is recycled.
The bags that don’t make it to landfill cost somewhere in the region of $4 million for communities and businesses to clean up.
So listen to Tim Minchin and take your canvas bags to the supermarket.