NSW will aim to ban many common plastic items in order to protect the environment and reduce waste.
The state government announced on Sunday that it would ban items such as single-use plastic bags, cotton swabs and straws as part of a five-year plan of $ 356 million.
« We want NSW to lead the way when it comes to reducing waste, maximizing recycling and protecting the environment, but we want to do it in a way that encourages job creation and innovation, » said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. </ Sunday's announcement means the government is signaling it is serious about the plastic ban, but actual legislation and enforcement will have to wait.
The plan is to target the supply chain and encourage companies that rely on single-use plastic sales to switch to greener alternatives. Later fines are threatened for non-compliance.
Products will be phased out on different schedules, depending on whether there are existing and viable alternatives.
Plastic straws and cutlery, for example, which have already begun to be replaced by paper and bamboo alternatives, will be set a deadline in a year.
Other products such as heavy bags and fruit stickers will be checked in three years.
The shortest time frame is given for light plastic bags. According to the government’s schedule, these should be gone in six months.
« The single-use items we are phasing out are estimated to keep an estimated 2.7 billion pieces of plastic from ending up in our environment and waterways over the next 20 years, » said NSW Environment Secretary Matt Kean.
A The reason the plastic products are banned is that the litter they create can harm wildlife, especially in the ocean.
Mr Kean said that plastic waste would outnumber fish by 2050 if nothing changes.
The government would also seek to reduce waste in general by ensuring that every household in the state can separate leftover food from other rubbish.
If everything goes according to plan, total waste in the state would be reduced by 10 percent per person by 2030.
According to Shane Cucow of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, NSW will be the last state in Australia to introduce a plastic ban.
« As the state with the largest plastic footprint, today’s commitments mean a massive reduction in plastic flow in Australia’s oceans, » she told ABC.
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