NSW Greens plan to ban plastic bags

Dominica Sanda

The NSW Greens are hoping to put an end to the supermarket plastic bag controversy by introducing laws to parliament that aim to reduce plastic pollution.

The NSW government faced fresh calls to introduce a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags after Coles last week backflipped twice on its position by initially extending indefinitely its giveaway of thick, reusable plastic bags before a day later announcing the freebies would stop on August 29.

Greens MP Justin Field says its time the government showed leadership in dealing with plastic pollution.

Mr Field is expected to introduce to parliament laws aimed at reducing plastic pollution which include an immediate ban on single-use plastics such as bags and straws.

"The 'bagflipping' over plastic bags from Coles has shown that governments can't outsource this problem to corporations," he said in a statement.

"This bill recognises action must be urgent and strategic to reduce the large amount of human-generated plastic in our oceans, rivers and environment."

Included in the bill are targets to reduce the amount of plastic waste that enters the ocean by 90 per cent by the end of 2020 and the phasing out of all other single-use plastic products by the end of 2023.

"NSW is lagging behind community expectations and significant action from the rest of the world, including the European Union, in addressing the serious challenge of plastic pollution," Mr Field said.

The bill is due to be introduced in the next session of parliament which for the upper house will start on August 14.

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton welcomed the move by Coles to once again phase out single-use plastic bags.