Waleed Aly calls for ban on everyday item

Waleed Aly has thrown his support behind banning plastic bags in Australia, calling on the premiers of three states to take action.
Waleed Aly called for the premiers of three states to ban the plastic bag on The Project last night. Source: The Project TV/Twitter

If you live in South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania or the ACT, then you’d know there’s a plastic bag in you state.

Queensland is set to be the next state to follow their lead.

But Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales haven’t got any plans to ban the plastic bag in place – and Waleed Aly is calling them to action.

In a six minute editorial piece on The Project last night, Waleed called on the premiers of the three states to “ban the bag” so that Australia would have a nation-wide plastic bag ban.

“It’s estimated Australians use between four and six billion plastic bags annually,” he said, outlining the case for the ban.

“We use more than 10 million plastic bags, every day. And just since I’ve been speaking, Australians have dumped 7150 plastic bags into landfill.”

As Waleed pointed out, the plastic bag is banned in a number of other countries including France, Italy, China and Kenya – and supermarkets such as Coles and Woolies have said they would comply with a ban.

While the premiers of New South Wales and Victoria told The Project they’d support the ban, the Premier of Western Australia said he’d let councils make the decision.

Waleed believes the Premiers won’t pull the trigger because “they’re scared of a possible backlash”, something he believes is a misplaced fear.

“80% of South Australians, who have already been living with a plastic bag ban for eight years, strongly support the ban. 70% of Canberrans feel the same way. Same deal for 73% of Territorians,” he said.

“So what I’m saying is, these guys want to ban plastic bags, they’re even ready to ban plastic bags, they’re just waiting for you to give them a push. And unless we give them a push, nothing will change, and you and I will keep using plastic bags. But we can change this. You can change this.”

Shortly after the program, #banthebag was trending on social media – and a petition by The Project on Change.org received plenty of support.

What do you think? Do you agree with what Waleed had to say about banning plastic bags?


  1. Dagmar Twyman  

    OK, so we ban plastic shopping bags. Does this extend to plastic garbage bags, lunch bags, etc that are also bought in great numbers. So many people don’t buy garbage bags but recycle the plastic shopping bags.

    • Barbara Bell  

      I agree totally – the only plastic shopping bags which are thrown out unused in our household are the ones which are too badly torn to contain the rubbish properly. You can bet your life that there will be no ban on SELLING you all the plastic bags you can dream of, in any shape or form. We use a smaller rubbish bin in house specifically to accommodate the supermarket bags and will continue to do so. I am getting so sick and tired of being told what I can and cannot do – lets actually do something about it for once !!!

      • Margaret Houston  

        These are my sentiments too. I intend to take everything packaged in plastic out if it when I go to the checkout,if this comes in,

    • Leonie  

      I mostly take my own bags when I shop but if I forget them I use the plastic bags provided and then use them as kitchen bin liner as a lot of people do. If I didn’t use these I’d have to buy a packet. So I would still be using plastic bags. I re-use plastic sandwich bags etc. I know there are too many bags discarded and I think we should be more responsible about how many we use and how we discard them.

    • Gretta Cuming  

      i think your missing the point Plastic is an issue

    • Liz  

      Yeh what about all the disposable nappies , and continence aids …lets get back to washing nappies and stop being so lazie

    • Dagmar, true that banning plastic bags might be inconvenient for some, but what is the alternative? Our Oceans and inhabitants, are screaming for our help. It is really not that hard to give up on plastic bags of any description.
      Supermarkets support canvas shopping bags, lunch bags are not essential, garbage bags come in different styles including bio-degradable.
      My. son, who is an Adult, insists that his Coles plastic shopping bags are bio- degradable, but they ARE NOT. Is it so difficult to keep a canvas bag or two, in the car or on our arm, to help with the amount of plastic let loose on our environment?

  2. sue  

    Why would anyone listen to this guy. He’s just trying to ha ve another 15mins of fame.

    • Helen  

      He deserves his 15 mins of fame, if you were given 15 mins what would you say?

  3. Sue Pass  

    So he’s saying that if we don’t give the pollies the push he will continue to use plastic bags like the rest of us who by the way most of us re use. He needs to get of his high horse and stop telling us what to do.

  4. Be Potter  

    Well he’s on the money….every bit of plastic ever made is still on the planet, in the sea in landfill in the rivers etc. It does take a little bit of effort to take your recycled shopping bags with you but we do it here in SA and its well worth it. C’m on guys you can do it.

  5. Graham  

    Who cares what this fool thinks, he is entitled to his opinion but don’t expect everyone else to agree just because he thinks he is important

    • Rhonda rimmer  

      If he’s a fool….. so are all the other states and countries that have banned the bag. Don’t you believe that plastic bags are causing terrible pollution and choking and killing many animals and fish? Then YOU are the FOOL!!l

    • Garry Ward  

      This man is a menace, and is nothing more than a motor mouth trying for an additional 5 minutes of fame.
      Plastic bags are an important part od daily life. Please shut this motor mouth down now.

  6. Alice  

    I live in the NT where we have the ban on plastic bags.
    You either bring your own plastic or cloth shopping bag, like our mothers and grandmothers did, or pay 15c at the checkout to purchase one.
    No big deal.
    I have to say on a recent trip to Vic I was stunned at the numbers of plastic bags my son had accumulated and the thousands that the supermarkets seemed to dole out ~ after years of not having them, I was stunned by the wastage.

    Our parents and Grandparents took their own shopping bags and trolleys to supermarkets in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, even 1970s – no one died, no businesses suffered.

    It is not a problem, nor a conspiracy.

    • Graham Heard  

      When I was very young the supermarkets of a sort at the time packed my perants grocerys in large brown paper bags. When they started to change to plastic it was marketed as saving the trees, and saving $$$$$$ so things haven’t changed that much over the years they use this fraise when ever they want to change something.

      • Rhonda rimmer  

        Why not cut out both paper bags and plastic bags to save both the trees, animals and environment. We should learn from our mistakes. Why not use a cloth bag or basket that is reusable and lasts for many years? The phrase saving the trees and saving $$$$$$ is not a gimmic. It has a scientific and economical backing.

    • Sandy Balfour  

      Totally agree – we live in SA – take our own bags to the supermarket – no big deal.

    • Ken Devine  

      The shops are the ones that are pushing them. When you buy a newspaper they want to put it into a plastic bag.

  7. Jan Foley  

    There was nothing wrong with the large brown paper bags supermarkets used to use. At least they broke down in the environment – not like plastic. Supermarkets haven’t banned plastic bags, they’ve just made it so it is a money making ploy. If you need bags for your shopping you have to buy them! Who’s fooling who here?? I agree with Waleed, plastic bags should be totally banned.

  8. Kerry  

    Before plastic shopping bags were banned in South Australia I used them as rubbish bags. Now, I have to buy plastic rubbish bags. Whilst I support a ban on plastic supermarket bags I do wonder what the net effect of the ban has been. But, on the plus side, degradable plastic bags are now widely offered in shops and they certainly do degrade!

  9. Carol  

    Yes, I believe plastic bags should be banned, but let’s not stop at shopping bags. All plastic bags should be banned. We should go back to fabric or woven bags. Rubbish should go straight in the bin and the kitchen bin should be washed daily. It’s not so hard, just need to get used to it.

  10. Dawn  

    Plastic bags are banned in Tassie HOWEVER supermarkets don’t give them to you they sell them 15c each ,most other places still use them as always.

  11. Vic  

    So Wally, does your ban also include all the other “Glad” bags sold? If not then it’s pointless, if so then all kitchen scraps, dog poo etc go straight in the bin. The result is a bin they won’t take because of the maggots crawling all over it. What do I pick up dog poo with while on a walk? I know buy plastic bags. I recyle all my plastic bags and oddly enough if they sit for too long they disintergrate. So Wally, instead of your usual left wing rants with mind numbing stats pulled out of your arse, how about telling us how all the other states manage all aspects of the issue.

    • Tricia  

      Wrap your food scraps and dog poo in newspaper like we did many moons ago.

      • missy  

        What do you do if you don’t get the paper? Newspaper is a quickly disappearing resource now that many people get their news online.

    • Leanne  

      Well said. If it is to be a ban on plastic shopping bags it should cover all kinds of plastic bags and we all know that is never going to happen….it is just another ploy for the major supermarkets to take even more of our money…I’m sick of their greed they have petrol stations, insurance, hardware to name just a few, these multi national company’s are trying to take all that we earn….

  12. Pat  

    Stopping supermarket plastic bags is a ploy of plastic bag manufacturers, as they are losing money due to people reusing them instead of purchasing their product. Banning supermarket ones, actually save the general public money and help the planet.

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