A CENTRAL Victorian council is taking aim at "false advertising" about plastic bags that are not fully bio-degradable.
The Macedon Ranges Shire council will take its push against what one councillor has branded "greenwashing" to an upcoming Australian Local Government Association national general assembly in June.
That would be one step in a wider push to get the Australian government to ban 'fragmentable polyethylene' plastics - which break down but are not completely biodegradable - being imported, manufactured or used.
One councillor opposed the push, arguing it is not the council's core business to lobby for national action on the ingredients.
"We should be doing stuff at a more local level," councillor Henry Bleeck said.
That could include educating people about what can go to recycling and landfill or the shire expressing a preference people not buy the bags, he argued.
Councillor Jennifer Anderson disagreed the council should confine itself to local action.
"Some people might question if this is the role of local government. Yes, it very much is. Our role is to advocate," she said.
"These particular products are really dangerous and the only place for them is landfill. Even in landfill they are dangerous because they break down into little bits of plastic and emit (greenhouse gas) methane."
Cr Anderson was concerned people would assume they are able to be composted or added to plastics recycling.
"No, it will contaminate that," she said.
"There is a lot of false advertising out there and it is up to us to advocate to the federal government to not allow these products to be coming in."
The council would also push for the federal government to bring in new mandatory product labelling clearly stating what is compostable and what can go in recycling bins.
The council would also want it made clear that labelling like "biodegradable" or "compostable" should only be allowed if a product meets Australian standards.
"If we can't ban these products at least we can have correct labelling, if that is what we had to do," Cr Anderson said.
She said a national campaign to assist local councils and others educate people about the bags' risks would be needed.
Even if the ban came in, Cr Anderson believed councils would need federal funding to educate people about the changes.
Councillors voted in favour of the lobbying efforts and mayor Janet Pearce plans to now take the case to the national general assembly.