AN environmental group say they were snubbed by environment minister Albert Jacob when they tried to deliver a petition against plastic bags earlier this week.
Greenpeace-affiliated Ban the Bag campaigners spent two months trying to organise a meeting with Mr Jacob, but were told a ban on single use plastic shopping bags is not something he’s willing to talk about.
So they decided to march the 5000-strong petition directly to Mr Jacob’s office in Dumas House, West Perth, only to have the door shut in their face.
Ban the Bag ambassador Bhaval Chandaria says the group is “disappointed”, but will mail the petition to Mr Jacob before trying to table it through the shadow environment minister.
“The convenience of a plastic bag no longer outweighs the damage they are imposing on our environment”, Ms Chandaria says.
“Australians use around 4 billion plastic bags a year – that’s a whopping 10 million a day…The average plastic bag is used for just 12 minutes but can remain in the environment for up to 1000 years.”
The WA local government authority is currently gauging support for a statewide ban, asking mayors around the state for their opinion on the issue.
WA Labor has indicated it prefers an individual council approach over a statewide ban.
Plastic bag bans already exist in South Australia, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania. Queensland’s LibNat government this week announced it would also be phasing out single-use bags, both biodegradable and non-biodegradable.
by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM