Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says that Coles’ bag backdown is only able to happen because the so-called Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, has failed to do anything whatsoever to fix the waste and recycling crisis.

Senator Whish-Wilson, “We need national leadership and national laws to fix the waste and recycling crisis. This Coles’ backdown shows we can’t rely upon corporations to do the right thing and they will bend with a few complaints.

“We need national laws to ban the bag immediately and to phase out single use plastics. The Senate Inquiry into this issue put forward consensus recommendations on how to deal with this issue so I don’t even think politics is holding this up. This is just a Minister who doesn’t pay attention to his portfolio.

“Josh Frydenberg has refused to act on the recycling crisis, despite industry, local councils and communities screaming for action. If he put decent policies in place we would save money, create more jobs and have less plastic filling our oceans.

“If Josh Frydenberg doesn’t want the environment portfolio, perhaps it is time he gave it to someone else. The leadership vacuum from Canberra on waste is causing havoc for everyone in the country who wants to see this fixed,” he concluded.