SHIRE of Mundaring councillor Trish Cook’s motion to ban single use plastic bags at retailers in the Shire failed to gain enough support among councillors on Tuesday night.
An alternate motion was unanimously supported, directing chief executive Jonathan Throssell to prepare a report detailing the implications and resources required to develop a local law banning the provision or sale of single use plastic shopping bags in the Shire.
The report will be provided to councillors at the August ordinary meeting of council.
Cr Cook said the Shire had an environmental responsibility to reduce the use of plastic bags.
“The average useful life of each plastic bag is 12 minutes and the majority of single use plastic bags end up in landfill or as litter,” she said.
“I believe the people of the Shire of Mundaring are ready for change.
“South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT have already acted to ban the single use plastic bag.
“Capital cities in India and some other countries have also banned the bag.”
Cr Cook said the State Government had publicly expressed support for local governments to enact local laws to ban plastic shopping bags.
“The Town of East Fremantle has enacted a local law and the City of Fremantle is likely to follow,” she said.
“Environment Minister Stephen Dawson is commencing investigations into a statewide ban on single use bans and the Shire should show its clear support.”
In a deputation to council, Julie-Anne Petitt challenged councillors to take a stand on behalf of the community and ban plastic shopping bags.
“I regularly collect litter from my local bushland and can name plastic bags and disposable coffee cups as the major regular pollutants,” she said.
“The Shire must stand up and recognise the impact of single use plastics, not only on our local community but nationally and globally.
“It is the councillors’ choice that matters, not the consumer choice; an empty excuse to do nothing against the major retailers who are destroying our environment with their volumes of plastic packaging.”
In an online poll conducted by Kara Powell on the Rates Mundaring Facebook page, 52 respondents said the Shire should implement a ban on single use shopping bags, 24 said no and four respondents said the Shire should wait for a statewide ban.