We have some exciting news !!
Yesterday Premier Mark McGowan announced that Western Australia will ban plastic bags from July 2018. A time frame has also been given for Western Australia’s Container Deposit Scheme on bottle and cans. It is expected to start on 1 January 2019.
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It's been called The Toxic Tide
In 2017, the UN Environment Programme acknowledged the growing body of research highlighting Marine Plastic Pollution as a significant problem on a global scale. It has widescale economic, social and environmental impacts. Business, government and the community need to find solutions.
Australia's first Conference focused on reducing Marine Plastic Pollution in the Asia-Pacific region will take place at Darling Harbour in Sydney from October 30th to November 1st 2017. Bringing together business, government, science, academia and community, Beyond Plastic Pollution will seek to find pathways to cleaner oceans learning about the latest research, testing the best solutions and encouraging diverse interests to work together.
We are also excited to announce our collaboration with The Plasticity Forum, which will present Plasticity Sydney on Tuesday, October 31st, in conjunction with the Beyond Plastic Pollution Conference.
If you would like to know more about global best practice regulations; if you're looking to reduce the plastic footprint of your business or industry; if you're keen to understand new technologies and alternative materials; if you want to take your community down a plastic-free pathway; or if you want to meet leading advocates and stakeholders…
Please join us for this richly informative and highly diverse programme – combining keynotes, panel discussions, practical workshops, real-world case studies, an innovation showcase – and
… HELP MAP OUT THE PATHWAYS TO CLEANER OCEANS…
We welcome today the unanimous passage of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill through the Queensland Parliament. The bill confirms a Plastic Bag Ban and Container Refund Scheme will be introduced into Queensland in July 2018.
The Plastic Bag Ban and Container Refund Scheme are the most significant litter and plastic pollution reduction measures introduced into Queensland in generations. As long as all retailers comply with the ban and a Worlds Best Practice Container scheme is introduced, we expect litter and plastic pollution could be halved.
With the introduction of these measures in July 2018, we are also urging the next state government to develop a 'Plastic Reduction Plan' for Queensland to address the other single use, disposable plastics that regularly litter and pollute our environment. Queensland is identified as a hotspot for marine debris, in particular plastics. Many communities are now taking action to reduce their plastic footprint and are looking to the next government to support their efforts.
The Boomerang Alliance is calling for three urgent reforms following revelations in Monday night’s 4Corners program on the waste and recycling industry.
The combination of the absence of support for recycled content in products and slack enforcement by regulators and no landfill levy in Queensland is threatening the crucial environmental and economic gains from recycling.
Firstly, environment ministers and regulators need to be far more effective in the use of their enforcement powers.NSW in particular moves too slowly and appears to tolerate shoddy practices for far too long. They allow cheap dumpers to push legitimate recyclers out of the market, and this prevents the rapid transition to reuse of resources and results in lost opportunities to create jobs and environment protection. NSW has the legal powers and the Minister should order an urgent review of how they are being applied.
Secondly it is essential that government and business require recycled content in their purchasing contracts for roads, construction materials, packaging and other items. Australia could be far more self-sufficient in resources and have a bigger manufacturing sector if we had a stronger domestic market for recyclables. There would for example, be a larger market for recycled glass in roadworks and construction sand.
Of note is that container deposit schemes will improve the quality of glass drink bottles in the recycling stream and open up more conversion back into bottles. Victoria is the stand out state that is ignoring this proven program.
Thirdly, Queensland must act to stop it being the dumping ground for waste from other states. The Newman government created an environmental disaster by removing environment protection laws and the landfill levy. Both parties in Queensland should recognise the ongoing damage and fix it.
We will keep you posted.
After a rigorous tender process the NSW Government has announced the appointment of Exchange for Change (big 5 beverage companies) as the Coordinator (CO) and Tomra/Cleanaway as the only NSW Network Operator (NO) for the NSW CDS. In general it is a robust arrangement with substantial contracts and penalties for non-performance and we now look forward to the CDS starting operation on 1 December 2017.Read more
The failure of today’s meeting of environment ministers to agree on national coverage of plastic bag bans is due to the intransigence of NSW. Other states (WA, VIC) without bans have already announced they are looking at such action. NSW resists with the state being ever more flooded with polluting lightweight bags.Read more
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."
Today, Boomerang Alliance was at the annual NSW State of the State where Premier Gladys Berejiklian was the key note speaker. We decided to sneak into the conference room.
We used that opportunity to covertly place campaign material calling for a ban on plastic bags on each table and an activist deployed a banner in front of the 650 guests high profile guests and the Premier herself.
The Premier response was again that she does not need to pass a law (even though almost all states have or will be) because of voluntary action by some key retailers.
Millions of bags will still enter the environment. Every turtle, whale and bird that is harmed or killed by this litter will lay at the Berejiklian’s government’s door.
With the National Retailers Association joining environment groups and councils in support of a comprehensive plastic bag ban law in NSW – Gladys Berejiklian‘s position, is a massive failure of political judgement and a serious threat to the marine environment.
Environment Ministers meet tomorrow on 28 July – will NSW be the remaining obstacle to national coverage by bag ban laws?
Woolworths & Coles Ban the Bag in Australia
Today we welcome the announcement that Woolworths and Coles will ban lightweight plastic bags in their stores nationally from July 2018. Woolworths currently provide 3.2 billion plastic bags through their supermarkets annually.
There are now only three States, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, who have yet to ban lightweight plastic bags, it's imperative that those State Governments to act to ban the bag.
Removing plastic bags in Australia is a significant first step in reducing this countries disposable plastic use and reducing threats to wildlife. Over 3 million tonnes of plastic is used in Australia every year, with most disposable plastics either landfilled or littered. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 120,000 tonnes of disposable plastic is littered annually. That is equivalent to 2.4 kgs per person in Australia.
We do however think Woolworths and Coles should go beyond their plan to introduce thicker bags at a 15 cents charge and urge that they replace this with fully proven reusable bag so the whole community adapts and use only genuinely reusable bags.
We recommend that supermarkets and other retailers see this ban as the first step in a movement to reduce the use of single use, disposable plastics. A review into plastic packaging of fresh food should be instigated with the aim of removing or replacing all unnecessary packaging.
The Boomerang Alliance has welcomed the tabling of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017 into the Queensland Parliament today as one of the most important environment protection measures in a generation. The bill legislates a ban on lightweight plastics bags and the introduction of a Container Refund Scheme, both in 2018.
The combination of a ban on bags, a refund on cans and bottles and associated public litter awareness will make Queensland a cleaner, safer and more resource-efficient state.
The Parliament needs to pass the legislation as soon as practical to allow the timely introduction of both measures in July 2018.
View our Media Release HERE