Petition Ban all new plastic carrier bags from being given out or sold in Jersey

Plastic carrier bags are harmful to the environment and unnecessary in today’s world. Jersey has plans to reduce its carbon footprint. Banning the selling and distribution of all new plastic carrier bags in Jersey will help both aims. An island should do this particularly for marine life safety.

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Ministers responded

This response was given on 11 March 2020

Whilst fully supportive of the principle to reduce the use of avoidable single use plastic, further investigation is required to assess if a plastic ban is the best way forward.

It is recognised that there is a drive to protect marine life, reduce litter and reduce dependence on plastic products globally and that Jersey should play its part in this.

Plastic bags that are captured through the waste stream locally are treated in the Island’s Energy from Waste plant and so unlikely to cause hazards to marine life. Nevertheless, there will still be some carbon released from their incineration which contributes to Jersey’s carbon footprint and plastic bags that end up as litter do cause hazards for biodiversity on-island or at sea.

This matter has already been raised in the States Assembly in February and is the subject of a Proposition

There has been momentum already in the Island to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags for some time with the major retailers charging for single-use bags and instead promoting the more robust reusable bags. This voluntary charging regime has driven behaviour change towards the use of reusable bags and raised significant amounts of money for charity from the charge for the single use bags whose overall use has declined over time.

Nevertheless, many countries have now implemented bans of plastic carrier bags and Deputy Gardiner lodged a Proposition on the 12th February to bring forward similar legislation in Jersey (P.11/2020). This was initially to be debated in the States Sitting of March 2020.

Despite appearing to be a straightforward subject, there are some complexities that require the alignment of policy, legislation, enforcement and public engagement. In particular, the products intended to be covered by any potential ban need to be carefully defined and the full implications of the policy need to be understood and discussed with stakeholders to ensure the success of any new regime.

Deputy Gardiner has met with officers to discuss these points and has agreed to defer the debate in the Assembly on P.11/2020 until April. During this period officers will research the opportunities and challenges that arise across a number of relevant Ministerial Departments to ensure we work together to bring forward a solution that best achieves positive change across the Island.

The Minister for Infrastructure

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