Friday, May 26, 2006

Australia - 3 billion plastic bags cut

The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today praised supermarket shoppers and operators for cutting three billion plastic bags from circulation during the past two years. He said a report compiled by the Australian National Retailers Association, representing major supermarkets, showed that by the end of last year supermarkets had reduced their annual use of lightweight, single-use bags by 45 per cent compared with 2002.

"This is an enormous achievement by shoppers and supermarket management and a clear demonstration of a behavioural change by thousands of Australians," Senator Campbell said. "The cutback means fewer bags in the litter stream. The goal must be to stop plastic bags getting into the litter stream and spoiling Australia's environment. The initiatives introduced by supermarkets to cut back on the number of bags issued, the eagerness of shoppers to be part of the campaign and the take-up of re-usable bags have all contributed to this win for the environment. It is important to bear in mind that this outstanding result came from entirely voluntary action - no regulations, no levies or additional costs to shoppers. There will be some predictable complaints that the 50% reduction goal was missed and therefore the campaign failed. While 50% would have been better, 45% is still an outstanding result and it would be nonsense to portray it otherwise. I am delighted that the major supermarkets are committed to achieving the 50% goal by the end of this year".

From RRF news

Technorati Tags: waste minimisation

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