Victoria has just become the latest Australian state to make a move on plastic pollution control – Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The ban was introduced after rising pressure from the great number of supporters of a Change.org petition, launched by Channel Ten’s panel program “The Project” in collaboration with the organization Clean Up Australia in April 2017.
In the light of “The Project’s” advocacy and the massive support for the petition, Victorian Premier stated that he had finally been convinced to make the move to introduce the ban. He pointed out that the new legislation is important for Victoria’s “waterways, for landfill, for waste management.”
Introducing the ban, Victoria joins the states of South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and the ACT, all of which already have similar legislation. Queensland is also et to join in 2018. Plastic bag bans are also growing in popularity and support in other countries – with many cities, states, and single businesses getting rid of the dangerous single-use items.
According to Clean Up Australia, an estimated 4 million plastic bags are disposed of every year by Australians, which amounts to more than 20,000 tons of plastic waste. Only three percent of that stunning number is recycled. The rest ends up in the environment – in landfills and waterways.
Every year, around 8.8 million tons of plastic waste get dumped into the oceans. Around 700 marine species are now threatened with extinction because of the threat that plastic pollution poses to wildlife. Every day, marine animals become entangled in plastic waste and ingest it, which leads to intestinal blockages and the release of toxins into their bodies. Plastic waste has an immense and devastating effect on the ecosystem – and it was found to float away from land as far as into the Arctic Ocean.
While this all may seem intimidating, we all have the power to act on plastic pollution now – and we don’t have to wait for a government-imposed ban. To learn how to use less plastics and produce less plastic waste in your everyday life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
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