In 2003, the town of Coles Bay in Tasmania banned the use of non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags. Now, the popular holiday town with a population of less than 300 citizens is calling on the federal government to institute a nationwide ban on the bags.
Not-for-profit organisation DoSomething! estimates that at least 50 billion plastic bags have been used by Australians over the last decade. Although shoppers quickly adopted the use of green bags, politicians never put the promised national ban on plastic bags into place.
DoSomething! founder and managing director, John Dee, said that an excessive amount of plastic bags are still being given away by supermarkets and that marine life is suffering as a result.
The organisation believes that large supermarket chains need to be held accountable for the huge amounts of plastic bags they still provide. The group is encouraging Coles, Woolworths and IGA to publicly disclose the number of plastic bags they have bought over the previous five years.
DoSomething! is also calling upon the supermarket giants to report their strategies to ensure a reduction in the use of plastic bags in the future.