DSC backs plastic ban
COUNCILLORS clamoured to move a motion to endorse a DSC submission to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection endorsing the Queensland Government’s proposal to ban single-use plastic bags at the ordinary meeting yesterday.
In the submission by council officers, it’s noted that with 82 per cent of the shire within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, and the council’s commitment to its green credentials through programs such as ‘Plastic Free Douglas’, a ban makes sense.
“Plastic litter impacts visual amenity and detracts from a tourist economy,” the submission reads.
“Plastic in our environment has proven impacts upon marine wildlife including birds and endangered turtles ... the manufacture of single use packaging is an unsustainable use of fossil fuel reserves and places pressure upon waste management and drainage systems.”
The ban would come into force on July 1, 2018. The council supports the 18-month deadline before the ban kicks in, with the submission arguing that because bans on plastics bags are already in place in multiple jurisdictions across Australia and the world, and with community support for a ban high - the transition period was plenty of time for consumers, retailers and the government.
The DSC also supported including ‘biodegradable” plastic bags because “... ambiguous definitions mislead customers about the impact of bags (and) biodegradable bags do not breakdown quickly enough to avoid harm.”