Australia could ban microbeads and single-use plastic bags

Australia could become the latest country to bring in stricter single-use plastic restrictions after the Labor Party announced plans to ban microbeads and bags if it returns to power in the 2019 federal elections.

Announcing the policies, Labor leader Bill Shorten said: “Plastic has a devastating impact on our natural environment – more than a third of the world’s sea turtles were found to have plastic waste in their stomachs, and it is estimated around 90 per cent of seabirds eat plastic waste.”

More than 50 countries worldwide have already implemented bans or charges of lightweight plastic bags as the environmental backlash against them continues. In Australia, states and territories have already gone some way towards plastic bag bans of their own, with all except New South Wales having some form of legislation against their use. Labor said that its national ban would create consistency across the country.