Major Australian city bans single-use plastic

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-02 10:51:32|Editor: Chengcheng
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CANBERRA, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The capital of Australia's Northern Territory (NT) has banned single-use plastic and helium balloons from January 1, 2019.

The Darwin City Council voted to approve the ban on single-use plastic at council events and on council land at a meeting on Wednesday night.

Environmentalists have raised concerns over the impact that helium balloons have on waterways after they have burst.

Emma Young, a council alderman representing the Greens party, said more details about the ban would be made available closer to the implementation date.

"It's nationwide, it's worldwide to actually be looking at how we reduce our impact, particularly in the oceans and to do with our marine life, which is heavily impacted across the world," Young told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Thursday.

"At this point in time ... there's a lot more opportunities to purchase environmentally friendly products which used to be cost prohibitive but aren't any more."

The ban was approved on the same day that supermarket giant Coles bowed to customer pressure and reversed its ban on single-use plastic bags, instead announcing it would hand out bags for free indefinitely.

Single-use plastic alternatives, such as bioplastics and organic materials, require a commercial facility to be processed; a facility Darwin does not have.

"In the short-term, (the alternatives) may go to landfill. What we are discussing and looking at is the long-term benefit," Waste NT's Michelle Harle said.

"Part of the solution needs to be a commercial composting facility.

"Making a really big change like this is not easy, we're dealing with an ingrained mentality around how we use products." Enditem