MEDIA RELEASE: ‘Entire species choking on plastic’: community urged for input as inquiry begins examining a bill to reduce plastic waste in NSW

A bill that would see single-use plastics phased out in NSW is the focus of a new parliamentary inquiry, with the community being urged to have their say.

The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Plastics Reduction) Bill 2021 would phase out single-use plastics, polystyrene packaging, products containing plastic microbeads and other plastic products.

“With current trends forecasting that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, this bill is of utmost importance to every creature alive on this planet, and particularly those that call the ocean home, where entire species are choking on society’s plastic obsession,” said Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party, Mr Pearson, who is Deputy Chair on the inquiry.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to do everything they can when it comes to lessening their environmental footprint, and that includes lawmakers, so I urge all interested parties to speak up and have their voices heard by NSW Parliament.”

The Plastics Reduction bill aims to reduce plastic waste like single-use plastic bags, microbeads in personal care products and detergents, single-use plastic cutlery, plastic drinking straws, disposable plastic cups, polystyrene food containers and other packaging.

To achieve this, the bill sets out targets for plastic reduction, with a plan to eliminate plastics pollution by 2025.

The bill also seeks to establish a Plastics Reduction Commission that would:

* report on the management of plastic waste, along with mechanisms to reduce plastics pollution

* liaise with industry and government to develop strategies to achieve each of the targets

* report on compliance.

Chair of the NSW Upper House’s planning and environment committee, Ms Cate Faehrmann MLC, introduced the bill to Parliament in February 2021 on behalf of The Greens.

The bill was then referred to the cross-party Portfolio Committee 7 – Planning and Environment so that the committee can seek the views of community members, stakeholder groups and experts about the bill’s provisions.

 The committee is now inviting all interested stakeholders to have their say on issues relating to the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Plastics Reduction) Bill 2021, via written submissions.

 Submissions are due by 3 May and can be lodged via the inquiry website or via the link:

http://bit.ly/plastic-reduction-bill

Public hearings are planned for late May and early June 2021.

The committee will report in October 2021.