NSW Treasurer and Environment Minister Matt Kean has singled out the Manly community – and its local representative – as a major driving force behind this week’s ban on single use plastics coming into law.
The Plastics and Circular Economy Act 2021 was passed in NSW Parliament on Tuesday, 16 November 2021.
The legislation will prohibit the supply of lightweight plastic bags from 1 June 2022. The supply of other items will be prohibited from 1 November 2022, including single-use plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers, cotton buds, plates and bowls, and expanded polystyrene foodservice items.
Treasurer and Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said plastic packaging and single-use plastics make up 60 per cent of litter across the state.
The Treasurer told Manly Observer much of the work began with a discussion paper launched at Queenscliff surf club in 2020. Manly MP James Griffin was the parliamentary secretary for the environment at the time. “James helped shape and deliver the NSW Plastic Plan. We launched the discussion paper in 2020 and the final policy in 2021 both in Manly, an acknowledgment of the many local community advocates who supported this great legislation, and James in driving it.”
One community member at those discussions was WSL pro surfer Cooper Chapman who described his reaction to the laws as “pumped”.
“I’m really pumped that the plan we launched in Queenscliff is now law across the state. The ocean is my home and it is a place so many of us enjoy. It is crucial that we keep it as clean place for the animals who also call it home and for future generations”.
James Griffin was equally pumped: “I’m proud to say we have made great progress with the Plastics Plan, it is now the law,” he said.
While the intention to ban single use plastics was announced at a press conference earlier this year it has only now become law with set deadlines.
On a personal note, having experienced first-hand the impossible mission of trying to remove tiny pieces of Styrofoam spread out across Manly Cove, this is very welcome news.
Despite regular clean ups at the harbourside location, a major CEO clean up earlier this year called Take 3 for the Sea yielded almost 90 kilograms – or 27,600 individual pieces of plastic.
Local collective Operation Straw dive the area each month to remove scores of plastic straws and similar items from across the beach.
For more information on the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 visit http://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/plastics