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City of Canada Bay Council votes for a plastic bag free future

13 June 2017 | Council

City of Canada Bay on Tuesday became the first Council in NSW to officially offer support to Clean Up Australia’s #BanTheBag campaign. Councillors voted in favour of a resolution to support the #BanTheBag campaign and resolved to urge local State MPs to support legislation banning single-use plastic bags in NSW.

The resolution also called for a policy to be developed that would introduce a standard condition of consent on all future commercial applications prohibiting the use of single-use plastic bags, as well as the rollout of an education campaign for local businesses and residents and the consideration of soft plastic recycling stations across the area.

City of Canada Bay Mayor Helen McCaffrey said the move complements Council’s Sustainable City Committee’s Bagless in the Bay project which supports business owners to reduce their own and their customer's reliance on single-use plastic bags.

“Plastic bags have been around for more than 30 years and it is estimated that 1 trillion bags every year are used and discarded worldwide,” Mayor McCaffrey said. “After taking part in Clean Up Australia Day earlier this year, I have seen first-hand the amount of plastic bags that end up in our beautiful parks and waterways. It’s time to put an end to the single-use plastic bag.”

Clean Up Australia Managing Director Terrie-Ann Johnson welcomed the support of the City of Canada Bay and congratulated Council on being the first in NSW to officially get behind the campaign.

“The City of Canada Bay is the first council to officially join the #BanTheBag campaign,” Terrie-Ann Johnson said.

“Local government support is significant. Councils like the City of Canada Bay have the reach and authority to make a real difference, they work alongside retailers as they make the switch from plastic bags – assisting, recognising and rewarding their local citizenship.”

Clean Up Australia hopes that a decision to prohibit single-use plastic bags will be made at a meeting of Environment Ministers in three weeks’ time. Should Ministers not commit to the ban, the organisation is planning to lobby other councils to join the campaign.

 “If the decision to ban is further delayed we will be encouraging other councils across the state to show the leadership of City of Canada Bay.”

With about 3.76 billion bags or 20,700 tonnes of plastic disposed of in landfill sites throughout Australia every year, City of Canada Bay has become a leading voice in the call for a single-use plastic bag free future.

Plastic shopping bags are often made from a non-renewable resource such as oil and many are discarded in waste. They also pose life-threatening risks to wildlife as they may be mistaken for food if floating in our waterways. Once ingested, a bag can prevent the animal from digesting food or can prevent them submerging.

The recommendation from the Sustainable City Committee to take action on plastic bag use follows a number of successful campaigns by the group including EPA Bin Trim which resulted in
172 businesses diverting an extra 865 tonnes of rubbish from landfill.

Tips for consumers:

  • Remember to take you own reusable bag
  • Put single items in an existing bag
  • Choose more sustainable alternatives like paper bags or ask for a box
  • Say no to single-use plastic bags.

ABOUT THE SUSTAINABLE CITY COMMITTEE

The Sustainable City Committee (SCC), formed in 2003, is a representative group of City of Canada Bay residents who are interested in contributing to the sustainability of the city. The committee is made up of up to 10 community members, including two students, Councillor and Council staff representation. Their role is to provide a community voice to Council on pertinent environmental and sustainability issues. 
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Page last updated on: 13/06/17
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