Clean Up Australia Day Lismore event: Greens candidate calls for major parties in NSW to phase out all single-use plastics

MEDIA RELEASE 3rd March 2019: Today, the Lismore community will join thousands of Australians across the country to clean our beaches, river banks and bushland as part of Clean Up Australia Day.

NSW Greens candidate for Lismore, Sue Higginson, will be announcing the Greens Plan for a Plastic Free Sea that calls for a statewide phase out on all single use plastics by 2023 and is calling on the major parties in NSW to hear the concerns of the community and take immediate action to regulate single-use plastics out of existence.

The Greens Plan for a Plastic Free Sea will:

  • Phase out all all single use plastics by 2023
  • Phase out plastic bags, straws, polystyrene containers and microbeads immediately
  • Reduce plastic entering the environment by 90% by 2020 through legislated targets.
  • Establish a NSW Waste Commissioner
  • Require all packaging used in NSW will be ‘recyclable, compostable or reusable’ by 2023
  • Re-invest the $2.1 billion NSW Waste and Environment Levy into fixing our waste crisis

The call follows a decision last year by the European Union to phase out single-use plastics by 2021 and a recommendation from a Senate inquiry that Commonwealth and State Governments work to phase out petroleum-based single-use plastics by 2023.

NSW Greens candidate for Lismore, Sue Higginson, said, “Plastic pollution in the ocean is choking and killing marine life and contaminating the food chain. We have to turn off the plastic tap.

“It’s time NSW got behind the community driven war on waste and got on board with the global shift away from single-use plastics.  

“The Greens are putting forward a plan to phase out single-use plastics by 2023 and to take immediate action to phase out plastics bags, polystyrene food and drink containers, plastic straws and microbeads.

“NSW is already a laggard when it comes to plastic bags. We cannot afford to sit idly when the rest of the world is moving away from single-use plastics. The community is calling for strong action in NSW but neither major parties are showing any leadership when it comes to reducing the scourge of plastics in our marine environment.

“With scientists estimating there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, we need a phase out on single-use plastics. This should be an election issue but the major parties are ignoring the community and hoping issue of plastics will go out with the tide.”
See Greens Plan for a Plastic Free Sea. This is part of the Greens ‘Towards Zero Waste Plan’ of which further details will be announced.

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