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gone to the dogs

8 April, 2008

MR J.N. HYDE (Perth — Parliamentary Secretary) [9.15 am]: My grievance is to the Minister for the Environment. My grievance concerns our need to think in a more global way about decreasing the use and production of plastic. I want to address the very important issue—I know it is an issue close to the minister’s heart—of doggy do plastic bags in our parks. Although our jihad on plastic shopping bags is laudable, we also need to look at the entire array of plastic used in our society. I want to focus today on doggy do litter bags.

We are all aware of the huge damage that plastic causes to the environment: the excessive environmental and raw material cost of producing plastic in the first instance and the long-term problem of dealing with its disposal. The good strong steps we have taken in the voluntary reduction of shopping bags, which will hopefully soon involve a more comprehensive tax or ban on them, has made a difference. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to look at other ways in which we can decrease our dependency on plastic.

Ms A.J.G. MacTiernan: We could take a device for dogs to put into their bottoms when they go out for a walk.

Mr J.N. HYDE: Yes. The use of plastic doggy do bags is an environmental extravagance, minister. Plastic doggy do bags, such as the bags I am holding, are an extravagance. Although dog excrement would break down naturally after five days in sunlight, by enclosing the excrement in plastic that goes into landfill, we are delaying the process and choking landfill unnecessarily. We need to keep our parks clean and usable and we need to assist dog owners to be responsible for Muttley, Dino, Lassie, and, of course, Scooby-Doo.

Mr R.C. Kucera: And Bobby.

Mrs C.A. Martin: What about Deefa?

Mr R.C. Kucera: What about Bonnie?

Mrs C.A. Martin: What about Deefa—D for dog?

Mr J.N. HYDE: I thank members for their assistance in this grievance.

Subject: Plastic Waste – Doggy Do Litter Bags [Legislative Assembly – Grievance]

Date: 3 April 2008

Hansard reference: pp. 1809a – 1811a [online (pdf)]

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