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Plastic bag ban good for business

July 03, 2017

Endangered wildlife, starving coral and plastic bags – why we’re backing the Qld Govt’s stand against pollution

Deloitte economists have this week flagged Queensland’s prized Great Barrier Reef as ‘too big to fail’, with a total asset value of more than $56 billion, or more than 12 times that of the Sydney Opera House.

Unfortunately, the precious coral that inhabit the world’s largest coral reef system are not fussy eaters.

A 2015 study by James Cook University found the coral gobble up microplastics (measuring under 5mm) at about the same rate as their normal food – but can’t expel the fragments, leaving them stuck deep in their gut cavity tissues.

With an estimated 5 trillion pieces already in the oceans, and up to 236,000 tonnes adding to that each year, our coral is at risk of slow starvation.

This week also marks one year until the Queensland Government rolls out its ban on single-use, lightweight plastic bags. More than 900 million are handed out to consumers every year, and about 1.6 million are littered, ending up in our waterways and oceans.

But before they even begin breaking down into toxic marine food, they’re killing and seriously impacting on all manner of wildlife, including the endangered leatherback turtle, vulnerable green turtle and seabird chicks.

As the industry most-affected by this ban, but also one of the most dependent on the tourism dollars our natural attractions bring in, the NRA is proud to have partnered with the Queensland Government on this critical measure.

We’re launching a website and hosting education workshops all over the state for the next twelve months, to help every retailer find sensible, sustainable and affordable solutions, and to help guide consumers, ahead of the roll out.

For more information on our upcoming workshops, please contact David Stout at d.stout@nra.net.au or call 1800 RETAIL (1800 738 245).

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