marinepollutionThe recently released report from the Senate Inquiry on Marine Debris has been welcomed by Wildlife Queensland (WPSQ) as a step forward in our understanding of the problems and solutions to plastics in the marine environment.

Of the 23 recommendations contained in the report, WPSQ has particularly welcomed the positive recommendations on plastic bags bans. We have been campaigning for some time for a ban, given the devastating impacts that plastic bags have on native and endangered wildlife.

“Evidence presented to the Inquiry has shown that littered plastic is an eyesore, a pollutant, a major threat to wildlife and is now entering the food chain,” said Toby Hutcheon of Wildlife Queensland.

“It’s time that government did something about this, and this year.”

“We call on the state government to act on this and bring in a ban on single use plastic bags. We also call on the LNP opposition to back the government. This is an issue deserving of bi-partisan support,” he said.

Plastic pollution of the environment is a very significant and serious matter. The easiest way to reduce this problem is to stop littering in the first place. In addition to banning plastic bags, WPSQ welcomes support for the introduction of a container deposit scheme in Queensland. These two measures alone would reduce plastic litter by over 50% in Queensland.

A third measure, the phasing out of plastic micro-beads (found in many personal care products) was confirmed by the Commonwealth in February. WPSQ welcomes the Inquiry’s support for immediate action on this.

“At the end of the day, we are custodians of this planet and must take responsibility for the harm we do and act to prevent this. It’s time to ban the bag.”

Greens spokesperson Andrew Bartlett says “the state Labor government has delayed too long on responding to the calls for action on a container deposit scheme and plastic bags.

“The evidence to the Senate Committee is clear and categorical – the problem of plastic pollution in our waterways is serious, urgent and getting worse.  The time for action is now.

“The predictable, self-interested opposition from industry has delayed action for too long. The evidence is already very clear that container deposit schemes and plastic bag controls deliver results in reducing rubbish and pollution without significant problems for consumers.

“While some of the measures recommended in the report need to be implemented nationally, state governments also have a critical role to play.  The Greens call on the state Labor government to demonstrate their commitment to our environment by taking effective action now.”

The Senate Committee report recommended in favour of introducing container deposit schemes and banning single-use plastic bags.