Member for Euroa and The Nationals’ deputy leader Steph Ryan is offering residents of the Euroa electorate free re-usable shopping bags before plastic bags are banned in November this year.
Ms Ryan has told Parliament she supports a ban on single use plastic bags, ahead of a vote on the issue in the Legislative Assembly tomorrow.
From November 1 all single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags with a thickness of 35 microns or less will be banned, including bags made from degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic.
Produce bags used for unpackaged food like fruit, meat and seafood, garbage bags and bin liners and dog waste and nappy bags will still be legal.
“While there were a few grumbles when supermarkets voluntarily took the step of eliminating plastic bags, I think most of us have now adapted and changed our behaviour,” Ms Ryan said.
“In Victoria about 10 per cent of all waste disposed of to landfill is plastic, so eliminating single use plastic where we can is a small but very practical way we can reduce our environmental impact.
“Anyone who wants a free reusable bag ahead of the ban is welcome to pop in or phone my office.”
Ms Ryan also told Parliament she was proud of the contribution made by the Strathbogie Youth Parliament team who successfully prosecuted the case for a ban on plastic bags during Youth Parliament last month.
“Young people have led the debate over the need to increase recycling and cut down on single-use plastic,” Ms Ryan said.
Statistics from 2012-13 showed Australians were using 1.5 million tonnes of plastic a year, or 65 kilograms per person. More than a third of that was single-use disposable packaging.
Globally, plastic production has grown rapidly in recent years and is expected to double again over the next 20 years.
“All other states and territories in Australia, except Victoria and NSW have already banned lightweight plastic shopping bags,” Ms Ryan said.
Anyone wanting a reusable bag ahead of the ban can pick one up from Ms Ryan’s office in Bridge St, Benalla, or phone the office on 5762 1600 in order to have one posted.