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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4756 ..

The Assembly voted-

           Ayes 6                                  Noes 11

Mrs Burke

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mr Cornwell

Mr Corbell

Mr Quinlan

Mrs Dunne

Mrs Cross

Mr Stanhope

Mr Pratt

Ms Dundas

Ms Tucker

Mr Smyth

Ms Gallagher

Mr Wood

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Hargreaves

Question so resolved in the negative.

Plastic bags

MRS DUNNE (9.45): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) acknowledges that plastic bag use needs to be reduced and plastic bag recycling needs to be enhanced in the ACT;

(2) calls on the Government to ensure that there are plastic bag recycling drop off points at all major town centres across Canberra;

(3) calls on the Government to embark on an education and awareness campaign promoting the benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling plastic bags;

(4) calls on the Government to work with business and encourage more consumer choice for carrying goods bought, ie allowing choice of plastic bag, calico bag, boxes or degradable bags;

(5) calls on the Government to work with business and trial (a) a plastic bag levy in Canberra and (b) the use of biodegradable or degradable plastic bags using a similar approach to the ReBaG trial in 1999.

Mr Speaker, I rise to speak about an issue which has been touched on many times before but in respect of which no substantial inroads have been made. Australia consumes about 6.9 billion plastic bags each year. This equates to a ridiculous one bag per person per day.

The Assembly and the wider community have been witness to numerous plastic bag campaigns. Most focus on the impacts of plastic bags and how to reduce or prevent those impacts. These campaigns have been effective in raising the community's awareness that plastic bags can be harmful to the environment and have encouraged a small number of consumers to change their behaviour by using alternatives, reusing or recycling. This motion today is designed to increase that small number so that the ACT government and the members of this house can play their part in reducing the plastic bag use in this territory.

Approximately 53 per cent of plastic bags are distributed from supermarket outlets while the other 47 per cent come from other retail outlets such as fast food shops, liquor stores

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