This is an important call to action. We need you to respond to the Victorian government's "Reducing Plastic Pollution" Discussion Paper. It won't take more than a few minutes.Read more
The NSW Container Deposit Scheme (Return and Earn) started on 1 December. We are relieved that we have made it to this point when many told us it would never happen.
10c refunds on bottles and cans are a proven solution to the 8 billion or so that currently end up in landfill or in the environment. About 160 million beverage containers are littered in NSW every year. They will now be worth $16 million in refunds!
The CDS has been successful in the Northern Territory which has had refunds for 5 years now, doubling its recycling rate. South Australia has led the nation with a 40 year long history of refunds on single use bottles and cans (85% recycling rate) and many still remember nationwide refunds on refillable glass bottles. These results and the necessary collection points took some time to fully realise.
Eventually, there will be several ways to redeem your 10c refund in NSW. Reverse Vending Machines (many in Woolworths car parks), over the counter collection points (like shops & cafes) and before too long I hope, drive through bulk drop-off centres where families, individuals, community groups, sports clubs etc can take a boot load, trailer load or just a big bag.
You can check out the location of these collection points here. More are being added every day and you can still register to be a collection point or host a Reverse Vending Machine. So if you want more near you, get out and talk to potential site owners and email email@example.com to register your interest.
The time to install collection sites has been too short and the initial commitment of 85% of the proposed 500 by 1 December has been reduced to less than 50%. It was never possible to have all sites in place on Day 1 and evidence from schemes elsewhere shows, there is a gradual process as the best sites and customer demand are proven over time. Despite its bumpy start, over 2 million containers were returned in just 7 days. Nevertheless some consumers will justifiably be frustrated but it doesn’t mean you lose the value of the refund – the containers can be stored.
The convenience of collection points has always been important and we will continue to push for a world class system.
So it’s your choice – keep using the council recycling bin and know that council can use that refund money to improve waste services in your community or collect them and take them to your nearest collection point when it opens or donate to a local good cause.
If you notice an unreasonable price increase (above 15c per container) please complain to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) and let Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton know about it.
We've compiled a list of the questions we get asked most often. If you are still unclear about Return and Earn please fell free to contact us.
It is a bumpy road but it will be worth it for a cleaner environment now and decades into the future.
Boomerang Alliance asked political parties in Queensland about their policies on plastic litter and waste reductions. With a plastic bag ban and container refund scheme already agreed upon by all parties and scheduled for introduction in July 2018, we were keen to know what each party proposed as the next steps to reduce single use plastics.
Our idea is for a Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan to identify and recommend solutions that will eliminate and reduce single use plastics. We were interested in addressing plastics use in the home and office, away from home, in commercial, industrial and agricultural settings and in the marine environment as a result of poor fishing practice and discards from vessels.
We also urged the immediate phase out of polystyrene takeaway products, and plans to phase out single use, non-biodegradable cups and food ware.
We also asked for support for a Waste levy in Queensland. Only the Greens have supported this, with the ALP wanting to wait on the current independent investigation on interstate waste transportation report-expected next month.
This is how the parties scored. We don’t endorse any political party but provide this as a guide to any Queensland voter concerned about plastic waste and litter.
Read Labor's response HERE
Read the Greens Response HERE
Authorised by Jeff Angel, Director, Boomerang Alliance, 99 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Plastic Pollution and Litter Reduction Policies (Queensland)
‘95% of plastic packaging is used once and then thrown away.’
New Plastic Economy-Ellen Macarthur Foundation/World Economic Forum Report 2016
In the next term of Parliament, we seek a new agenda on plastic reduction that builds on the good work achieved so far through the plastic bag ban and the Container Refund Scheme.
Boomerang Alliance supports the introduction of a Waste levy on all mixed wastes going to landfill in QLD, with any revenue hypothecated to resource recovery.
1. Maintain the introduction of a ban on lightweight plastic bags (including biodegradables) and a Container Refund Scheme in July 2018.
2. Expand the plastic bag ban to include the mass release of helium balloons and include plastic bags up to 70 microns.
3. Develop a Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy for Queensland to follow up on the introduction of a Container Refund Scheme and plastic bag ban.
4. Provide support to communities actively seeking to reduce their single- use plastic packaging and introduce an educational program to promote the switch to reusable alternatives.
5. Introduce an immediate ban on polystyrene takeaway containers and food ware.
6. Set a program for the future phase-out of single use, non-biodegradable takeaway items by 2020 (coffee cups/lids, straws, takeaway containers, food ware and water bottles) in Queensland.
Priority plastic waste streams and practices for investigation in the Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy should include:
- Soft plastics and film (with focus on retail/manufacturer practices)
- Agricultural/industrial use of single use, disposable plastic packaging and sheeting
- Plastic fishing lines/nets and bait bags
- Away from home plastic /composite items-coffee cups/lids, straws, food ware and takeaway containers
Authorised by Jeff Angel, Director, Boomerang Alliance, 99 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010.
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.
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
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
The next few weeks are critical for increasing community pressure on the three states that are yet to commit to a ban on single use plastic bags before the annual environment ministers meeting held at the end of June.
We need your continued support to help increase community pressure on New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria to ensure that all Australian states commit to a ban. As part of our accelerating campaign in the runup to the meeting:
Please join the Twitter Storm on Tuesday 23 May (World Turtle Day) from 12pm till 1pm AEST.
A twitter storm is a tweet event where many people post at the same time on a topic using a designated hashtag in order to make the hashtag trend. This will be noticed by the state Premiers and also help spread the message through social media.
Please do not 'retweet' but instead copy/paste the suggested tweets or make up your own with #BanTheBag and #NoMoreExcuses hashtags and @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP and @DanielAndrewsMP. You can also attach pictures on littered bags.
The suggested tweets are:
The community is ready. Australia needs to #BanTheBag #NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP
Australia needs to #BanTheBag #NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP
We need to protect our oceans! It's time to #BanTheBag #NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP
#NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP We demand a ban on plastic bags! #BanTheBag
#NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP Stop killing our oceans! It's time to #BanTheBag
Do the right thing @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP #NoMoreExcuses #BanTheBag
Step up and #BanTheBag @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP #NoMoreExcuses
Plastic kills – help protect our oceans now! It's time to #BanTheBag #NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP
Don't pass the buck @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP #BanTheBag
Communities Taking Control - Wollongong Taskforce. If you wish to be involved in reducing single-use plastics across the entire Wollongong community please join the taskforce! We are looking to introduce our plan to Wollongong during Plastic Free July this year however information in the lead up will be send out with details on how you can get involved, including volunteering opportunities, information nights and links to printout materials to engage with local businesses. An overview of the Campaign can be found here.
For those looking to play a more active role in the development of the initiative, email andy.gray[at]boomerangalliance.org.au for more information.Sign up