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Deputy proposes ban on sale of plastic bags

ecoJersey | Published:

THE sale of plastic bags in Jersey could be banned by next year if the States approve proposals lodged by a backbencher.

St Helier Deputy, Inna Gardiner Picture: ROB CURRIE. (27168241)

Deputy Inna Gardiner’s proposition, if passed by the Assembly, would also set a minimum price for other types of disposable bags in a move that would put Jersey ahead of many jurisdictions, including the UK and France.

An online petition which was launched last month calling for the ban passed the 1,000-signatures mark at the start of this week.

Environment Minister John Young has also shown enthusiasm for the move, last week telling the States Assembly he would ‘ban plastic bags tomorrow’ if it were up to him, and that reduction of plastic waste was a ‘number one target’ for the Council of Ministers.

He added, however, that a ban would be complex and require cross-department co-operation.

Deputy Gardiner said that her proposition was inspired by a trip she took recently with Deputy Rob Ward to Malta to attend a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association seminar on how small states can tackle climate change.

‘The problem of climate change and caring for the environment came up and we started discussing plastic bags with the other jurisdictions,’ she said.

‘Most of the small states, like the Australian Capital territory, Northern Australian territory, Caribbean islands and Seychelles, have already banned plastic bags.

‘So I came back and asked a question in the states and lodged this proposition. I think small steps like this that only involve changing habits are ideal.’

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She added: ‘There are no real cost implications to anyone but the big manufacturers.

‘The more I looked at this the more it made sense.

‘It feels like an easy way to make a lasting positive change. We can clean up the environment and lower our carbon footprint a little bit.’

If the Deputy’s proposals are passed the Council of Ministers would be required to bring legislation for approval by November this year, with an implementation period of six months.

The proposition is due to be debated on 24 March.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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