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Plastic still fantastic as Oz shelves bag ban

australia2.jpgPeter Garrett – former Midnight Oil frontman, celebrity baldie and now Aussie environment minister – has failed to persuade his counterparts across the Aussie states’ to ditch plastic bags and countenance an all-out ban of the disposable plastic irritants.

Cue much tuttting and rolling of eyes. Go on – try it yourself. Feels good, right?

Instead of an outright placcy bag ban, the meeting of all the environment ministers decided to do all this instead:

• Convene urgently a high level government-industry working group to identify additional measures by which retailers can increase the voluntary uptake of ‘green’ reusable bags and reduce the use of plastic bags, and report back to Council in November 2008.

(Greenbang has a suggestion here on how to reduce the use of plastic bags urgently – ban them. That should do the trick)

• Intensify work on research and innovation initiatives relating to alternative products to plastic bags, including biodegradable plastic bags, and their potential use to reduce adverse impacts.
• Request EPH Standing Committee to investigate further options for nationally consistent
action, including:
o hypothecation for environmental outcomes of a voluntary retailer charge using information from the Victorian pilot project, which will be made available to other jurisdictions.
o other means of phasing out single use plastic bags, currently being investigated by the states.

Alas, a Victorian pilot project won’t involve hijacking people from the 1850s and asking them to learn how to fly, rather it’ll see a levy of between 10 and 25 cents put on disposable bags to wean shoppers off the eco-terror bags.

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