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Single-Use Plastics

16 October 2019

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (15:13): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Human Services, representing the Minister for Environment and Water, a question about single-use plastics.

(Leave granted.)

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY: Given the overwhelming support received from the community and industry for action to be taken on single-use plastic items, why is the government delaying taking action on plastic bags over 35 microns in thickness? Can the minister advise whether the government is considering banning all plastic bags, regardless of thickness?

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (15:15): I thank the honourable member for his question. I have to say that I have noticed that the initiative of banning single-use plastics has been very well supported, particularly I think—and I am talking aloud here, which is always dangerous for a minister—by a lot of women, who are very active in the space of recycling and reuse. I know a lot of people who seek, as individuals, to phase out their use through various means, in particular with things like reusable grocery bags that you can purchase, and some of the supermarkets have places where we can recycle some of those single-use soft plastics items, which can then be turned into play equipment.

As recently as when we opened the new site Tika Turka on Gilbert Street, we found that their bike racks are made from recycled soft plastics. I am not aware of the details of the honourable member's particular questions, but I will take those to the responsible minister and seek a response and bring it back to the chamber.



21 December 2019

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services):

The Minister for Environment and Water has advised:The government's approach to single-use plastic products was announced in July 2019, including the development of legislation to establish a framework to phase out certain single-use plastic and other plastic items.

The initial products to be phased out are single-use plastic straws, cutlery and drink stirrers, as well as takeaway expanded polystyrene food service items and 'oxo-degradable' plastics.

Thicker plastic shopping bags, takeaway coffee cups and other takeaway food service items have been identified for consideration for phase out at a later date and will be considered by the task force comprising representatives of business, industry, local government and interest groups.