WALEED Aly has challenged three Australian premiers to step up and ban a product millions of Australians use everyday day: the plastic bag.
During his “Something We Should Talk About” editorial on Wednesday night’s edition of The Project, Aly took aim at Australia’s astronomical use of plastic bags and called on the premiers of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia to “ban the bag”.
If they agreed, they’d be joining Australia’s other states and territories who already have bans in place and the decision would achieve a national ban on plastic bags.
“We each send almost 700 kilos of waste to landfill every year, and man do we love a plastic bag,” he said. “It’s estimated Australians use between four and six billion plastic bags annually. We use more than 10 million plastic bags, every day. And just since I’ve been speaking, Australians have dumped 7150 plastic bags into landfill.”
Weighing in on the environmental impact, managing director of Clean Up Australia Terrie-Ann Johnson said 80 million plastic bags end up in Australia’s litter stream.
“Think about the poor animal in the marine environment that chokes or it starves because it’s got a gutful of non-nutritious material. It’s a horrible, horrible death,” she said.
South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT already have bans in place and Queensland will join them from July next year. Aly pointed out the other countries leading the charge with a ban: From France, Italy and the Netherlands to China, Taiwan and Myanmar. He added even “some of the poorest nations on the planet” like Ethiopia, Rwanda and Kenya have bans in place.
Calling on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Victorian Premer Daniel Andrews, and WA Premier Mark McGowan to “ban the bag”, the host left the three politicians with no excuse to not follow through, concluding it was a fear of possible backlash that was barricading their decisions.
In response to a Senate Inquiry into marine plastic pollution from last year that recommended the federal government support the states to ban plastic bags, Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg told The Project he would support all states introducing a ban.
Two of Australia’s major supermarkets Coles and Woolworths — who are responsible for distributing millions of plastic bags to customers each year — also told the program they would willingly comply with state bans. “So there’s no PR war to fight on that front,” Aly said.
“In fact, just three people could see plastic bags banned in Australia. The premiers of NSW, Victoria and WA,” he continued.
When approached by The Project, both Berejiklian and Andrews said they’d support the ban, but wanted a national ban in place. McGowan also supports it but instead of a national ban he said he’d want WA councils to ban plastic bags.
“ … The reason these three support a ban, but won’t pull the trigger in their own states is that they’re scared of a possible backlash, but maybe their fears are misplaced?” Aly said.
“80 per cent of South Australians, who have already been living with a plastic bag ban for eight years, strongly support the ban. 70 per cent of Canberrans feel the same way. Same deal for 73 per cent of Territorians.
“So what I’m saying is, these guys want to ban plastic bags, they’re even ready to ban plastic bags, they’re just waiting for you to give them a push. And unless we give them a push, nothing will change, and you and I will keep using plastic bags. But we can change this. You can change this.”
Aly implored viewers to sign a change.org petition started by The Project and Clean Up Australia calling on the three premieres to put a ban in place.
The petition started by The Project and Clean Up Australia to ban the bag can be found at change.org
SOURCE: newsnow entertainment