The Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio announced last week that Victoria might consider a ban on light-weight plastic bags, saying: "We believe that a national ban is the most effective way to address the issue but we have not ruled out going it alone."
Globally 95% of plastic packaging is used once and then discarded, often as litter. Researchers estimate that if this trend continues there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean (by weight) by 2050.
In Australia, most state governments are moving to reduce plastic litter through the introduction of container deposit schemes and bans on plastic bags. These are recognised as the first steps in addressing plastic pollution of our environment.
The next step is to address the many other forms of disposable plastics, like coffee cups, polystyrene containers, straws, takeaway containers and a whole raft of other single-use items.
EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE
Many individuals, governments and businesses have become aware of the plastic pollution problem and are changing habits and practices. However, what we lack is a whole community taking control of its plastic footprint, with a focus on long lasting solutions, and showing other communities how this can be achieved.
We know that communities coming together is a powerful way to instigate wide scale change - beginning with the individual, extending to the community and then to our politicians.
Our ‘Communities Taking Control’ campaign is the next step to achieving this wide scale change. Our goal is to produce a ‘how to’ guide that can be rolled out to any community looking to comprehensively reduce its plastic footprint. To help provide insight into how this can be achieved, we have initiated two pilot communities – Noosa in Queensland, and Wollongong in NSW. The Guide will be released at the end of October 2017.
PLASTIC FREE COMMUNITY PILOTS IN NOOSA AND WOLLONGONG
‘Plastic Free Noosa’ and ‘Plastic Free Wollongong’ are community-based projects with an aspirational goal to reduce the use of identified single use plastic packaging (by 50%) by July 2018. This will involve local council, local businesses (specifically hospitality/retailers), media, community organisations and schools, event organisers and active individuals.
If you wish to be involved in one of these two pilots, please leave your details below and we'll get back to you:
The aim in the first year (2017/2018) is for:
- the retail (and hospitality) sector to agree to supply preferred products (alternatives to single use plastics) to the public,
- schools and event organisers to hold plastic-free events and
- individuals to take up the plastic free challenge
We'll update you on our progress of course!
Be a part of a broad and diverse coalition fighting for Cash for Containers in Victoria.
Hundreds of community groups, charities and non-profit organisations around Australia added their name to the Cash for Containers campaign and were instrumental in our success in NSW, Queensland and WA. Now it is Victoria's turn - sign on today to endorse the Cash for Containers campaign in Victoria and help make Australia litter free.
Our Cash for Containers model is based on the best examples in the world and has benefits for the entire community, economy and environment. Read more about our model here and the benefits for your organisation here.
Whether you’re a local neighbourhood group, a major environmental NGO, a student organisation, school, small business or any other type of group, we’d love your support. If you are not part of any organisation, you can still support us by signing up here.
Letter of support
WE SUPPORT BOOMERANG ALLIANCE’S CASH FOR CONTAINER MODEL BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT WOULD HAVE SEVERAL BENEFITS FOR VICTORIA
A 10-cent refundable container deposit scheme (cash for containers) will slash the amount of litter polluting our parks, streets, rivers and oceans. It will create jobs in recycling and provide valuable sources of income for charities, community groups and individuals interested in collecting cans and bottles.
We demand that Victoria acts now and adopts a container deposit scheme in line with what NSW will start in December 2017, Queensland in July 2018 and which is promised by both sides of politics in Western Australia. The time to act is NOW!
We are welcoming the change to the start date of the NSW Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) to the 1st of December 2017 as good policy and congratulated the government on listening to the many requests for more time to rollout a better serviced scheme.
Can you help us win this once and for all?
Be a part of a broad and diverse coalition fighting for Cash for Containers around Australia.
Hundreds of community groups, charities and non-profit organisations around Australia have already added their name to the Cash for Containers campaign. Sign on today to endorse the Cash for Containers campaign and help make Australia litter free.
Whether you're a local neighbourhood group, major environmental NGO, student organisation, small business or something else, we'd love to have your support.
We support Boomerang Alliance's Cash for Containers model.
A 10-cent refundable container deposit system will slash the amount of litter polluting our parks, streets, rivers and ocean. It will create new jobs in recycling and provide valuable sources of income for charities, community groups and individuals interested in collecting cans and bottles.
Our Cash for Containers model is based on the best examples in the world and has big benefits for the entire community, economy and environment. Read more about our model here and the benefits for your organisation here.
If your organisation is on board, add your name today.
In the last two months our campaign for a Cash for Containers scheme in Queensland has gone out to the regions, with much fanfare. Our key supporters, Surfrider Foundation, in particular, has picked up the mantle and made a big noise. With Surfider running the show, we have launched the campaign and our Queensland Plastic Pollution Report.Read more
The Queensland Government has now established two Advisory Committees to assist in the development of a cash for containers scheme and possible plastic packaging bans. I have been appointed on to both committees. We expect that the State Government will be asking the public what they think about these measures, within the next six months.Read more
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.