Our policies are designed to create the infrastructure and laws that make recycling and protection of the environment effective and easy for households and businesses. We believe regulatory mechanisms, including bans, new laws, including greater responsibility by the makers of products; and consumer action, are needed to eliminate both toxic practices and waste products from polluting our ecosystems.
Cash For Containers
An efficient and low cost Container Deposit Systems (CDS) involving a 10-cent refund and significant use of reverse vending machines, by individual states or nationally. A CDS has been proven world wide to maximise the recycling of drink containers and minimise litter.
The removal of plastic bag, microplastic and nurdle threats to the environment can only be achieved with comprehensive and rapid regulatory and industry action, including the introduction of bans and alternative products.
New laws and corporate supply chain practises are needed to stop the illegal stockpiling and dumping of waste tyres; prevent the export of whole tyres to developing nations (where their breakdown causes significant pollution); and improve domestic recycling for new products. Stringent emission controls could facilitate the use of some chipped tyres for domestic energy, to avoid ongoing stockpiling and dumping, and help clean up legacy dumps, but only after maximum recycling.
Waste to Energy (WTE)
WTE is the one-off production of energy by subjecting waste to high temperatures via various technologies. It is not recycling. There is no thermal process to capture the embodied energy value of mixed waste that will not create significant pollution and toxic releases. We also caution against the serious risk of long term WTE contracts cannabalising resources that should be recycled. We may consider, on a case by case basis, use of the small amount of residue from best practice and maximised recycling of single material types, but only that which can demonstrate toxic pollution risks have been eliminated by pre-testing of the material.
Our research indicates that significant waste levies deter landfilling, and when also applied to waste to energy plants, make recycling more competitive by producing a key price signal. The receiver of the waste should carry the levy liability until it is genuinely recycled. The funds raised should be applied to recycling and environment protection programs.