The Opposition will not oppose the regulation today, but we would like to place on record our disappointment at a number of missed opportunities. There are two elements to the statutory instrument—the plastics and the single use. This regulation deals only with removing the plastics and does not attempt to deal with or solve the problem of our single- use economy that we need to tackle. It fails to recognise the waste hierarchy of reduction first, and just aims at legislating, in a piecemeal way, one item after another.
Of course, we agree that plastics have become unsustainable. In 1950, we produced 1.7 million tonnes, and now we produce 350 million tonnes. The Minister has already talked about the number of items that we produce, including the 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds, of which 10% are flushed down toilets, with a devastating impact on marine life when some, inevitably, get out of the system.