DSC backs plas­tic ban

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

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.”

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