Greens welcome ‘first steps’ on plastic; urge more action


The ACT Greens have welcomed the ACT Government’s initial commitment to phase out some harmful single-use plastics, but say more needs to be done.

“The Greens believe urgent action is needed to help reduce waste generation and the impacts plastic has on our environment, oceans, waterways and health,” said Greens Environment Spokesperson, Shane Rattenbury.

“Phasing out these single use items is a great step, and the Greens are proud that Canberra is moving ahead to take the lead on this important environmental initiative. However, there’s more still to be done.

“Phasing-out single use polystyrene food containers and cups, plastic cutlery, and coffee stirrers are easy early steps, but the Government should commit to more. This includes:

-              Phasing out plastic plates and bowls in the initial phase-out stage. There are many biodegradable alternatives to these plastic items, such as paper and bamboo products that can be recycled or composted rather than ending up in landfill.

-              Setting a firm date to end the use of single-use coffee cups. The reusable coffee cup trial is already paving the way for an actual phase out date.

-              The Greens also want to see cleaner election campaigns, and have called for a ban on roadside corflutes, and for parties to stop using balloons in their campaigning.

“Further action is important for the environment, and the community consultation demonstrated Canberrans are already on board for banning these plastic products, and we should prepare the community to make this happen. Single-use plastics are a wasteful, environmental hazard, that also use fossil fuels and endanger wildlife.

“We also welcome the Government’s plan to phase out super-market barrier bags from 2021, as there are many fit-for-purpose alternatives for fresh produce, and Canberrans support shifting to more sustainable options for their shopping,” said Mr Rattenbury.