Brutal message before major plastic ban begins later this year

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News and Facts

News and Facts

Brutal message before major plastic ban begins later this year

Video of a turtle choking on rubbish is among the shocking images featured in an awareness campaign ahead of a plastic ban which will come into place in NSW later this year. 

A ban on common, single-use plastic items will come into place from November 1, with lightweight plastic bags already banned in the state.

The new ads urge NSW residents to “stop it and swap it” when it comes to single-use plastic, with warnings such items are ”filling our environment and killing our wildlife”.

The ban will include plastic and expanded polystyrene plates, bowls, cups and other items.

The ban will include plastic and expanded polystyrene plates, bowls, cups and other items.The new ban will include meal items like plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and bowls.

Also included in the ban are personal items such as cotton buds and skincare products containing plastic microbeads.

Expanded polystyrene products will also be banned in NSW.

“About 95 per cent of the litter on beaches and waterways comes from suburban streets, and the vast majority of that litter is single-use plastic,“ NSW Environment Minister James Griffin said.

“The amount of plastic in our oceans is predicted to outweigh the amount of fish by 2050,” Environment Minister James Griffin said.

“The amount of plastic in our oceans is predicted to outweigh the amount of fish by 2050,” Environment Minister James Griffin said.

Plastic items which will not be banned include bin liners, animal waste and nappy bags and bags for medical items.

Serving utensils, coffee cups, plastic bowls with spill-proof lids, and polystyrene meat or produce packaging will also be exempt from the ban.

The effect which plastics can have on wildlife is “devastating” according to Taronga Zoo’s hospital rescue and rehabilitation coordinator, Libby Hall.

“Just recently, we admitted a green turtle hatchling that was only a few weeks old and excreted plastics for several days after it arrived,” Ms Hall said.

Baby turtles as young as few weeks old are falling victim to eating plastic.

Baby turtles as young as few weeks old are falling victim to eating plastic.

Businesses caught supplying banned plastic items can face on-the-spot fines of up to $1100 for individual businesses and $5500 for corporations, with the potential to blow out to tens of thousands of dollars if the matter goes to court.

The NSW government says it will seek to educate businesses and raise awareness through this campaign before handing out fines.

“The amount of plastic in our oceans is predicted to outweigh the amount of fish by 2050,” Mr Griffin said.

“That is a horrifying prediction and a call to action to ensure our wildlife, like the turtle featured in the campaign, can have a brighter future.”

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