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The importance of reducing single-use plastics

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

I rise today to say a few words on this matter of public importance. In recent weeks, I have spoken up on behalf of constituents in my electorate of Ginninderra who are concerned about the lack of public recycling options in the ACT, and specifically at shopping centres that are maintained by this government. My clear sense is that people inherently want to do the right thing. They therefore find it frustrating when something as straightforward as a public recycling bin is nowhere to be found and, from what I have been told by the minister, isn’t even on this government’s agenda.

These and other constituents have also spoken to me on the issue of single-use plastics. By definition, this includes any plastic that is intended to be used only once before being discarded, including rigid plastics that can easily be recycled when proper facilities are available. It also includes plastics, such as shopping bags and chip packets, that are not recyclable at all.

Madam Speaker, these constituents share concerns about the growing stockpiles of recyclable plastics and the environmental harm that can come from genuinely single-use plastics. They support prudent and reasonable efforts to reduce the amount of these plastics that enters our waste stream.

I note that environment ministers from all states and territories as well as the Commonwealth Government have made recent steps forward in addressing these issues in unity, and I hope that genuinely good solutions will be proposed and implemented.

Thank you.

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