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May 22, 2009 – 7:31AM
Eight out of 10 Australians want the Federal Government to ban plastic bags and stop electronic waste going into landfill, a survey shows.

The poll of 1000 people by green lobby group Do Something! has been released to coincide with the Environment Protection and Heritgage Council meeting of the nation’s environment ministers in Hobart today.

The survey found that 83 per cent of Australians want a national ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags, while 79 per cent of respondents want electronic waste to be barred from landfills.

South Australia is the only state which has banned plastic bags at check-outs.

Do Something! founder and chairman Jon Dee said the Rudd Government has failed to honour its election promise to impose a national plastic bag ban.

Mr Dee, who has known Environment Minister Peter Garrett since the early 1990s, said the former Midnight Oil frontman was a more effective advocate as head of the Australian Conservation Foundation.

“Peter Garrett outside politics was a tremendous advocate for the environment,” Mr Dee said.

“He’s been in power long enough: he could have brought about change.”

Retailers Target, Bunnings and Ikea have already stopped giving away free plastic bags at their stores Australia-wide, while the electronics industry has lobbied for a recycling program for discarded computers and television sets.

Mr Dee said there it was wrong that the Federal Government lagged behind industry.

“Peter Garrett and his bureaucrats in Canberra are the ones holding up change,” said Mr Dee, who set up the non-profit environmental group Planet Ark with tennis ace Pat Cash in 1992.

“The public have grown tired of rhetoric.

“They (politicians) talk about how they care for the environment but they’re not backing it up with action.”

The poll also found that 96 per cent of respondents wanted a national roll out of South Australia’s container deposit scheme, where people are given a 10-cent refund for bottles and cans.



One Comment

  1. If we are genuinely interested in the environment then why single out bags? And why suggest we should replace single use plastic bags with reusable non woven plastic bags instead of natural fibre bags such as jute bags? Surely our focus should be on all forms of plastic packaging. And why are politicians and environmentalists so silent about natural fibre bags and the United Nations Year of Natural Fibres (see here

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