25 September 2023

Last straw for single-use plastic

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The Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate (TCCS) has launched a community consultation program and discussion paper on the phasing out of single-use plastics.

Announcing the program, Minister for City Services, Chris Steel said the whole of society had to accept responsibility for the plastics littering the environment.

“Single-use plastic is commonly used for food packaging and includes items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away,” Mr Steel said.

“Single-use plastic litters our waterways, city parks and bush landscapes and goes into landfill where it may take hundreds or even thousands of years to break down.”

He said that as part of a responsible approach to managing the environment TCCS was looking to phase-out single-use plastic in consultation with the community.

“We are taking real action to become Australia’s most sustainable city,” Mr Steel said.

He noted that the European Union Parliament voted last year to ban single-use plastics in the EU by 2021. Similarly, South Australia and the City of Hobart were also looking at phasing out single-use plastics.

“It is time that the ACT takes responsible action to reduce single-use plastics and build a circular economy, where we reduce our reliance on these products and move to better alternatives,” Mr Steel said.

“It is still commonplace to see takeaway shops continuing to use plastic-foam takeaway containers like it is still the 1980s. Supermarkets also continue to sell plastic plates, cups and cutlery when it seems like there are clear alternatives already being sold on their own shelves.”

He said that while the ACT had already acted to reduce single-use plastic bags, through the introduction of the plastic shopping bag ban in 2011, there was an opportunity to do more to reduce its plastic footprint.

“We want to hear from the community about how we can reduce the use of certain single-use plastics where there are clear alternatives that are good for the environment and practical for business, industry and consumers,” the Minister said.

The 28-page discussion paper can be accessed on the YourSay website at this PS News link.

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