We all know that the high volumes of single-use plastics cause massive problems for the environment. They clog our waterways, fill the oceans, and kill sea life like it’s they’re job. It’s estimated that around eight million metric tons of plastic ends up in the oceans each year. That’s a whole lot.
Well, in a national first, the Hobart City Council has voted 8-4 to ban single-use plastics by 2020. The ban covers plastic cutlery and straws, to sauce packets and take away coffee cups and lids. So Tasmanians had better get themselves a KeepCup if they haven’t already.
And this is just the first step. The council has asked the Government to consider making it a state wide ban. For the rest of 2019, Hobart businesses will begin to phase out the single-use plastics in favour of biodegradable or recyclable alternatives.
While there’s still a few more steps for the new by-law to go through, this is a great start. Representative for the Hobart City Council, Bill Harvey, hopes that this move will serve as an example for other councils and communities.
“[It] says that we’re serious about leading by example and we’re a council that takes initiative, that makes bold decisions and this is one of those decisions that will have impacts for councils across Australia… We’ve set a precedent that now hopefully many other councils will follow.”
While the Coles and Woolies single use bag ban was a pretty good first step, there’s still a long way to go. The UN recently estimated that we only have about 12 more years before our planet changes in an irreparable way. Banning plastic pollution is one great step forward and I can only hope more Governments take the challenge on.