Australian plastic bag ban

Minister wants phasing out to start by end of the year.
 

 Australia has said it wants to phase out the use of plastic bags following the announcement of a similar move by China earlier this week.

It’s not clear whether the Australian government would introduce an outright ban, such as China, or impose a levy payable by shoppers on each bag they use. However, environment minister Peter Garrett said he wanted to start a phasing-out process by the end of 2008.

According to Reuters Garrett told local media: "There are some four billion of these plastic bags floating around the place, getting into landfill, ending up affecting our wildlife, and showing up on our beaches while we are on holidays.”

He continued: "I think most Australians would like to see them rid. We think it’s absolutely critical that we get cracking on it."

Garrett added that he will discuss the phasing out of plastic bags with the leaders of Australia’s six states and two territories at a meeting scheduled in April.

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