The Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, announced yesterday that single-use plastic bags would be banned in the territory, effective July 1, 2018. This follows on bans in South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and Northern Territory that went into effect in 2009, 2011, and 2011, respectively.
So, while no national level ban on single-use plastic bags has gone into effect yet, they are now effectively banned in much of the country.
This news follows on the relatively recent announcement of bans in France of all plastic cups, plates, and silverware — but that law doesn’t go into effect until 2020. A number of US states and cities as well as African countries have also banned single-use plastic bags in recent years, including Kenya, which we just mentioned in an article earlier today. As reported by Bloomberg, “the East African country banned almost everything about them: making them, importing them, selling them, using them, with penalties of up to four years in jail or fines up to $38,000.”
These bans all followed quite a while after Bangladesh’s pioneering ban of plastic bags back in 2002 and China’s ban of free plastic bags in 2008.
Mashable provides more: “Single-use plastic bags will be banned from Queensland by 2018, and Tasmania is set to become the first state in Australia to phase out single-use, petroleum-based plastic containers and utensils by 2020.
“New South Wales and Victoria are yet to join the party, although the Victorian government is open to ‘going it alone’ if a national ban doesn’t come into effect.”
Good news for all of the sea animals and birds living in and around the region. Though, not nearly enough to deal with the growing micro plastics pollution problem that we reported on twice a few days ago. To deal with that effectively, the production and use of synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon would have to be vastly reduced from current levels.
Or, at the very least, some sort of expensive filters would have to be placed on all of the dryer vents of the world. … Air drying synthetics rather than using a machine to do so could possibly reduce associated micro plastics pollution somewhat (I can’t say for sure on that matter as no research has been done, as far as I’m aware).