Govt faces pressure on plastic ban
Pressure is mounting on the State Government to implement a ban on plastic bags as the City of Mandurah adds to the growing chorus of local councils supporting the move.
Last week the WA Local Government Association’s State Council passed a resolution in support of a Statewide ban, agreeing to advocate to the State Government.
WALGA president councillor Lynne Craigie welcomed the resolution, saying the agreed position was the result of signifi- cant consultation across the sector.
“In supporting a Statewide ban on plastic bags, Local Government is seeking to reduce litter on the land and in our rivers and ocean, reduce the plastic bag contamination in our composting and alternative waste-treatment facilities and to engage the community in the waste avoidance discussion,” Cr Craigie said.
“This policy position has resulted from significant consultation across the sector and further supports those local governments that are already taking action on plastic bags.” In 2014, the City of Mandu- rah considered a report which outlined the options available to council, which could minimise the use of plastic bags in the area.
This week the City reiterated its official position in support of a Statewide ban as chief executive Mark Newman said the City hoped the new government would revisit the issue.
“As has been seen in the case of the City of Fremantle when it tried to adopt a local law to this effect, the previous State Government overruled the local government, so any such campaign would need to be directed towards the State, as local government currently does not have the power to implement this ban,” he said.
“The City of Mandurah is supportive of ways to reduce plastic pollution including plastic bag use.
“It has previously run and supported a number of community education and awareness-raising events for plastic pollution, and continues to look at ways we can reduce our use of plastic at a local level.”
Debate on the issue comes as a report to the World Economic Forum revealed plastic rubbish will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050 unless drastic action is taken.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson told the Telegraph the Government was investigating ways to best implement a Statewide ban of single-use plastic bags.
“This Government is concerned about the impacts of waste, including plastic, on the environment, and I look forward to working with my parliamentary colleagues to reduce those impacts,” he said.
“The State Government is open to hearing from West Australians on their views towards a Statewide ban.”