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Government to phase out plastic bags

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Government to phase out plastic bags

Post by shammy on Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:51 am

10th January,2008

The federal government hopes to phase out plastic bags completely by the end of the year.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett confirmed he would meet with his state counterparts, as soon as April, to develop a strategy to speed up the process.

"We would like to see the phase out implemented by 2008 ... that is absolutely critical," Mr Garrett told Sky News.

"We want to phase them out, so do the states, we think it's absolutely critical that we get cracking on it."

The nation produces four billion plastic bags annually with most of them ending up in landfill.

Environmental groups welcomed the move but retailers said it could add to greenhouse-gas emissions.

Australian Retailers Association CEO Richard Evans said a substitute, like paper, would be worse for the environment.

"Whoever wants to save the planet on this one is 'off the planet' because it won't," Mr Evans told AAP.

He said the Productivity Commission recently found no evidence plastic bags caused significant damage to the environment.


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