Plan to ban plastic bags gains support

Banning the plastic bag in Ballarat supermarkets would be an easy step to make a huge environmental difference, passionate advocates say.

The final report from the state’s parliamentary inquiry into the environment protection amendment – specifically banning plastic bags, packaging and microbeads will be released next week. 

Plastic Bag Free Ballarat’s Sandra Hawkins says the bill seeks to restrict the supply and sale of thin, supermarket plastic bags. 

“(The main concern) is the damage to wildlife – it is really concerning how much wildlife dies from ingesting plastic,” Ms Hawkins said.

“Plastic bags are a real scourge on the town  – even in Ballarat plastic bags are everywhere.” 

Plastic bags are a real scourge on the town – even in Ballarat plastic bags are everywhere. - Sandra Hawkins

Ms Hawkins says other states have successfully introduced the bill and supermarkets in those areas now supplied different options such as paper bags.

TIME TO BAN THE BAG: Plastic Bag Free Ballarat’s Sandra Hawkins hopes the state government will move to ban bags. Picture: Lachlan Bence

TIME TO BAN THE BAG: Plastic Bag Free Ballarat’s Sandra Hawkins hopes the state government will move to ban bags. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Group member Nicole Elliott said members hoped the report would detail the environmental benefits of banning the plastic bag.

She said it would be extremely difficult for a city such as Ballarat to ban the bag without the state government taking the lead. 

The report will be released on May 25. Parts of the Hepburn community are trialing a ban.