By Emil Bach Andersen
A Murdoch professor has given the thumbs up to the State Government’s push for a ban on the use of single-use plastic bags in WA shops.
“We should do it. Plastic that doesn’t get disposed in the right way has a very high impact on the environment”, says Dr Martin Anda, head of Environmental Engineering.
WA would become the fifth state to ban plastic shopping bags under a proposal by the new Environment Minister, Stephen Dawson. NSW, South Australia, The Northern Territory and the ACT have already implemented a similar ban.
Dr Anda says life without the little plastic helper would not be a problem because the solutions are already there.
“All shops should offer bags made out of plant-based materials,’’ Dr Anda says. “It will be fully biodegradable and you won’t end up with remnant water particles accumulating in the environment. The solutions are all there.’’
Clean Up Australia says Australians dispose of about four billion plastic bags a year. Only three per cent of these are recycled.
Shop owner Kim Ong, of Kardinya Fresh Fruit Market, strongly supports the plan to get rid of plastic bags despite currently providing them to his customers.
“What annoys me the most is when people come into the shop and buy one item, and they want a big plastic bag. It’s a bloody waste,” Mr Ong says.
“If they ban it, I can tell this to my customers. But today, if I don’t supply them with a plastic bag, and I tell them it’s my decision, I will have a huge problem.”
“People need to get that push over the edge,” he says as plastic bags packed with fruit and vegetables are carried from his store.