fresh calls for nationwide plastic bag ban
The use of plastic shopping bags prompted Australia to push again for the use of plastic bags nationwide.
Environmental advocates have called for a ban on the use of disposable plastic bags or a tax on them.
Jackie Anderson and her husband Daniel run an independent supermarket in the inner west end of Melbourne.
They are proud to interact with their customers;
Talk about their products, weather and even sports.
They also encourage consumers to make greener choices.
Daniel Anderson says only paper bags or cartons are used in their stores.
\"We grew up in South Australia and they have actually completely stopped using plastic bags,\" he said . \".
\"I think it\'s a great move in that state, and it certainly has stopped the waste of plastic bags on the roadside and on the streets.
I think using paper bags as much as possible is a very sensible and common sense approach.
Anderson said customers welcomed the measure.
\"Many of them prefer to actually use boxes . . . . . . They actually use the bags and bring them back for recycling.
As a result, they often use bags not only once, but also many times.
In 2009, disposable plastic bags were banned in South Australia.
The initiative has reduced plastic waste in the state by 45.
Since then, bans have been imposed in the north, in the Tasmania state and in the act.
Currently, there are no restrictions on disposable plastic bags in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Washington state.
The UK has recently started charging consumers for the use of plastic bags, which is in line with the situation in other parts of the UK.
As part of the government\'s plan to reduce garbage and protect wildlife, shoppers there must pay for the use of disposable bags.
Jeff Angel of the environmental organization\'s general environmental center said he wanted to see other Australian states moving in the same direction.
\"We strongly support the ban on light plastic bags, but we do not believe that urgent action will be taken by the national process.
Experience has shown that it will take many years.
So we call on each state to implement the legislation as we already have in the northern territories and South Australia.
But Australian Green Party Senator Lee Ranon said it was not just a problem for the United States.
\"While the law banning plastic bags is being introduced at the state level, it is clear that the federal minister is here to push for change that could have a significant impact,\" she said . \".
\"So it is recognized under our national environmental law.
\"We are certainly driving the government to play an active role in ensuring that all governments adopt a consistent approach to plastic debris, which can start with a uniform ban on plastic bags.
A statement from the Office of Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the government supports actions to reduce waste and increase recycling.
It said that while it is best for states and regions to address actions to reduce plastic bag waste, the Commonwealth is working with New South Wales to identify the most effective ways to reduce plastic waste.
This also includes ensuring an effective and coordinated approach among jurisdictions.
Jeff Angel says disposable plastic bags pose a very broad threat to the environment in Australia.
\"The facts tell us that in Australia we have about 0. 15 billion plastic bags a year.
Plastic pollution plagues in the landscape enter the food chain, and marine animals, seabirds, whales, turtles eat them, often dying from plastic bags.
Environmental activists say disposable plastic bags are harmful to the environment, especially marine life.
It is estimated that we use about 6 billion plastic bags every year.
About 260 bags per person.
The bags in the supermarket account for half of this number.
Woolworth said it complied with state and regional legislation on shopping bags and customers appreciated the convenience provided by plastic bags.
Its rival, Coles, says it does not support banning singles.
Use plastic bags because customers say they want to make smart choices.
However, the German supermarket chain ALDI does support a full ban on shopping bags, saying it has never provided free plastic bags to shoppers.
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