Council look to ban plastic bags
AFTER years of protest from some of the region's most passionate environmentalists, Whitsunday Regional Council is considering to ban plastic shopping bags in the region.
In November last year, Council decided to investigate whether plastic shopping bags could be banned in the Whitsunday region.
They are now asking for Whitsunday residents to have their say.
Mayor Mike Brunker said the investigation was needed as there was no doubt shopping bags did become litter and end up in our waterways.
“They are detrimental to the marine life,” he said.
“In recent years a number of towns in Australia have banned plastic bags.
“There is no reason why the Whitsunday community could not do the same.”
Eco Barge services director Libby Edge said it was great to see Council showing commitment to marine preservation.
“It's a great step forward to stopping the amount of plastic getting into our waterways,” she said.
“It's fantastic because it will keep our marine life safe.
“This is reducing the kill off rate of our turtles by 80 per cent as 80 per cent of plastic that ends up in storm water drains goes into the ocean.
“It will put us on the map as a green town.”
Save Our Seas Australia founder and fellow environmentalist Ian Thomson of Airlie Beach agreed.
“Sitting on the back doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef we need to take the initiative,” he said.
“It is a huge step forward because if we can change legislation, we won't need to rely on individuals to do it on their own.
“Italy has banned plastic bags and they were the biggest users of plastic bags in Europe.
“If we can be the first Queensland town to ban plastic bags, then that is a remarkable achievement.”
According to Council, the Whitsunday community uses 180,000 plastic shopping bags each week which is about 9.3 million bags each year.
To have your say, visit Council's website, www.whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au or by obtaining a survey form at any of the region's customer service centres and libraries.
The survey will close on February 11, 2011.