Single-use bags on chopping block in NSW

Single-use plastic bags could be banned in NSW within 18 months if a state government discussion paper is acted upon.

The paper released on Sunday calls for the phasing out of single-use plastic bags in NSW, as well as tripling the proportion of plastic recycled within 10 years and reducing plastic litter by a quarter.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday said the government would seek to legislate the bag ban by the end of the year and give business six months’ notice before the ban comes into effect.

NSW is the only Australian state to not yet ban single-use plastic bags, while retail giants Coles and Woolworths have already banned the bags.

The discussion paper will be open for public feedback for two months.

“We always want to make sure people aren’t taken by surprise and have time to have their say and we’re looking forward to moving forward after the consultation period,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters.

“We know other states have already done this but the difference with our paper is that it’s whole-of-government, whole-of-plastics.”

Ms Berejiklian said the plastics review follows the government’s late-2017 enactment of a “return and earn” container deposit scheme.

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