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  • Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - November 2023

    November 2023
     

    The pace is quickening on the plastic front.

    We have released a strong regulatory scheme for packaging that makes the packaging sector responsible for meeting tough standards to reduce and recycle and achieve meaningful recovery for recycling. Environment ministers from around Australia are preparing to announce their commitment to new mandatory targets for the sector.

    Our Plastic Free Places team begins a push to mainstream reusables with several trials in various states.

    More single use items are being banned including coffee cups and heavyweight one-off plastic bags; and NSW, the biggest market, releases a plan to catch up to other jurisdictions. Victoria begins its container refund scheme. And finally the international negotiations for a Plastic Treaty have begun in earnest.

    2024 is going to be big year to make significant advances and Boomerang Alliance with its 55 allies, is at the forefront. We are lobbying all Australian governments; actively making commentary across media platforms; mobilising communities; and creating workable but ambitious solutions.

    As we come to the end of 2023, we hope you will continue on the journey with us. It's going to be exciting as we push towards the biggest changes in plastic waste and litter in Australia.

    Thanking you for your support and donations; and best wishes for the festive season.

    Jeff Angel

     

    Australia generates more single-use plastic waste per person than any other country except Singapore - Minderoo Foundation, Plastic Wastemaker Index.

    With your help, we have a very rare opportunity to turn the tide on plastic waste and pollution. Australia's environment ministers have recently agreed to an ambitious packaging reform, with federal Minister Tanya Plibersek calling for a "Plastic-Pollution-Free Pacific in our lifetimes" – committing to world leading regulation in 2024. This is our chance, but it won’t happen without cutting the amount of plastic we use in the first place.

    CAN YOU HELP US MAKE THIS HAPPEN?

     
    CAMPAIGN UPDATES
     

    NEW NATIONAL RULES FOR PACKAGING - WE ARE STILL WAITING...

    Whilst we wait for the Commonwealth Government to release its consultation paper for the promised Product Stewardship for Packaging Scheme, we have challenged the packaging industry to cooperate & take full responsibility for its products.


    LETS NOT GO SOFT ON PLASTICS

    In April 2023, our supporters voiced their concerns about the lack of soft plastic collections following the collapse of the REDcycle scheme. Since then, the Australian Food and Grocery Council has provided more details of recovery via pilots of its evolving National Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme.


    CHOOSING TO REUSE IN AUSTRALIA

    The Boomerang Alliance has released its Reuse report calling for greater focus on reusable cups and containers for takeaway. In May 2023 the UN (Turning off the Tap) calculated that with reuse, plastic pollution can be slashed by 30% by 2040. 


    UNWRAPPED: THE TRUTH ABOUT SUPERMARKET PLASTICS

    Supermarkets in Australia are responsible for supplying the majority of household plastic packaging. AMCS & Boomerang Alliance have audited plastic use in our supermarkets and released a first audit on their performance.


    PLASTIC FREE PLACES

    We're on a mission to make reusables the ONLY option. If you agree, come to our first BYO Cup Day at Morning Glory Café in Coogee NSW on December 1 (event details below). Show your support and create change! 





    SYDNEY - LET'S GO NEXT LEVEL SUSTAINABLE

    We’re looking for 100 of Sydney’s most sustainable cafes to participate in our reusables program… could your local be one of them?


    CDS UPDATE

    2023 is the year, Australia will be fully covered by container refund schemes (CRS) resulting in billions of drink containers being recycled every year. Even Coca Cola, which vehemently opposed a CRS are now championing their involvement.


    NEW ROUND OF TALKS ON GLOBAL PLASTIC POLLUTION TREATY

    As we publish, the third session of the UN sessions on an international treaty to address marine plastic pollution is winding up in Nairobi, Kenya. This session is to discuss the draft Zero text for a binding agreement. Here are the latest perspectives from our colleagues at Break Free from Plastics who are attending.

     
     
     

    We would not have been able to do all this work without you and your support by making a donation, signing a petition, sharing our social media posts and sending us words of encouragement. We still have much work to do this year and we hope you will continue to help us.


     
    Please donate so we can continue our fight against plastic pollution.
     

     


  • published Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - July 2023 in Newsletter 2024-03-18 21:09:33 +1100

    Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - July 2023

    July 2023
     

    For many years the packaging producers claimed they could achieve environmental responsibility with the voluntary Australian Packaging Covenant.* It was their main bulwark against the introduction of container refund schemes. Eventually we won that battle and now we may be on the cusp of another major win to regulate all packaging to reduce, recycle, contain recycled content and reuse.

    We aren't there yet and we have embarked on a major effort to ensure a best practice result.

    The first hurdle has been overcome with all environment ministers agreeing on June 9 to regulate packaging, after the REDcycle debacle and after it was confirmed that the 2025 national targets to recycle and use recycled content would not be met. Plastic packaging is in a particularly parlous state.

    They have set a timetable for consultation, economic assessment and policy decisions running into 2024. The federal government appears to be ambitious in its ambit, but there are many complicated paths that need to be trod to get a leading scheme implemented.

    • What will the new targets for recycling and reuse be?
    • How much funding will come from the producers and retailers?
    • Will there be recycled content mandates on government and business procurement?
    • Effective compliance and accountability mechanisms?
    • And more…

    Boomerang will be tracking these closely and we are preparing our own detailed Packaging Stewardship Scheme and campaign. No doubt industry will seek a small target approach giving them maximum flexibility.

    There is only one chance to get this right – otherwise landfilling and damaging litter will continue and waste to energy (incineration) will also step in. We’ll need your support and advocacy to state and federal governments in coming months as we campaign to stop wasteful packaging and build a circular economy.

    Jeff Angel

    Director

    * Initially described as co-regulatory, but no one enforced it!

     

    Global Sustainability and Circular Economy expert Birte Moliere has joined our team to head up our National Packaging Campaign. On behalf of our allies, supporters and community, Birte will be leading our advocacy work to develop an Australia-wide best practice product stewardship model designed to transform Australia's packaging landscape.

    Birte brings over 20 years' experience across the corporate, government, non profit and community sectors. Originally from Germany, she is a trusted waste and plastic pollution reduction specialist. She's worked with hundreds of businesses to prioritise, design and accelerate the delivery of high impact sustainability programs. Birte is looking forward to your collective support as we demand strict mandatory packaging reduction targets. Find out more about our product stewardship campaign in this Newsletter.

     
    CAMPAIGN UPDATES
     

    CHOOSING TO REUSE IN AUSTRALIA

    According to the latest report from the UN (Turning off the Tap 2023) global plastic pollution needs to be slashed by 80% by 2040. That report states that 'refillable bottles, bulk dispensers, deposit return systems and packaging take-back can
    reduce plastic pollution by at least 30%'.


    NEW! STRICT NEW PACKAGING RULES

    Millions of tonnes of packaging incl. 450,000 tonnes of soft plastics are being sent to landfill each year. In a landmark agreement, this could be set to change via mandatory targets. Our newly appointed Packaging Campaign Lead Birte Moliere shares her insights. 


    CONTAINER REFUNDS - THE NEXT ERA

    Now that all states and territories will have operating Container Refund Schemes within 12 months, we are thinking about what could happen next to further improve and expand their reach.


    PLASTIC FREE PLACES

    Our Plastic Free Places program continues the focus on reusable foodware solutions, with 2 new exciting programs starting soon, and a plan to showcase leading businesses throughout the rest of the year.

       
     

    We would not have been able to do all this work without you and your support by making a donation, signing a petition, sharing our social media posts and encouragement. We still have much work to do this year and we hope you will continue to help us.


     
    Please donate so we can continue our fight against plastic pollution.
     

     


  • published Media Releases 2021 in Latest 2023-11-29 11:12:49 +1100

  • published Media Releases 2022 in Latest 2023-11-29 11:12:32 +1100

    Media Releases - 2022

    For interview request, please email [email protected]

     

    9 Nov 2022 - REDcycle Collapse Exposes Packaging Industry Flaws

    8 Nov 2022 - Container Refund Scheme expansion - states line up

    20 Oct 2022 - Stopping Plastic Pollution: Urgent focus for Environment Ministers at first meeting

    19 Oct 2022 - Single-use coffee cups on the agenda

    15 Oct 2022 - Drink Container Refund expansion - an essential move

    19 Aug 2022 - Queensland Container Refund Scheme under the microscope

    3 Aug 2022 - NSW EPA supports disposable polluting plastics

    1 Jul 2022 - Boomerang Alliance congratulates Western Australia on Plastic Bans

    1 Jul 2022 - ACT acts on fake green "degradable" plastics

    1 Jul 2022 - Queensland steps forward on polluting heavyweight plastics bags & coffee cups

    3 Jun 2022 - Woolworths Bag Phase Out - Major Step

    3 Jun 2022 - Plastic Free Places Hits 12.5 Million Pieces of Single Use Plastics Removed

    1 Jun 2022 - Big Plastic and Waste Agenda for new Fed Minister

    31 May 2022 - NSW Plastic Bag Ban - no dithering on next steps

    26 May 2022 - New "Flushables" Standard an Important Advance

    25 May 2022 - New Coles "Reusable Bags" are not Genuinely Reusable

    3 May 2022 - Environment Groups Call for Mandated Targets on Plastics

    29 Apr 2022 - NT Plastics and Recycling Move Up a Gear

    21 Mar 2022 - All Plastic Bags in the Firing Line

    3 Mar 2022 - Plastic Pollution Treaty takes a big step

    24 Feb 2022 - Tas Container Refunds Bill – more delay?

    21 Feb 2022 - Wine Bottlers should join Container Refund Schemes

     

     

    Go to the latest Media Release >>


  • IF QLD CAN DO IT… CALL ON STATES TO EXPAND 10C REFUNDS FOR WINE, SPIRITS

    With the successful inclusion of wine and spirit bottles in the Qld 10c refund scheme on 1 November, industry and environment groups have joined together to call on NSW, Western Australia, Victoria, NT, ACT and South Australia to catch up.

    Read more

  • Switching to Reuse - The best way to "take-away"

    Every day more than 15,000 single-use coffee cups are thrown away on the Mornington Peninsula (VIC) alone. Single-use takeaway packaging is only used for a few minutes before it tends to end up as litter or landfill, even when it’s compostable.

    That’s why Boomerang Alliance is urging residents and visitors to the Peninsula to make the switch to reusable cups, water bottles and bags this summer.

    "Simple switches have a big impact," said Birte Moliere from Plastic Free Places, a program managed by Boomerang Alliance and funded by Mornington Peninsula Shire. "The response from the community has been overwhelming with residents and visitors alike eager to support the reuse revolution."

    With the support of Plastic Free Places, many Peninsula businesses have responded to community concern over litter by switching from single-use cups to reusables. A new directory of those that actively encourage and incentivise customers to use reusables is being created at www.wastewisepeninsula.org

    "As a father of two young boys, litter-free beaches are very close to my heart," said Peninsula resident Jack. "It only takes a few simple changes to get there."

    A Peninsula café owner and Plastic Free Places member said: "I don’t want the packaging that I use in my business to outlive me."

     

    MARK YOUR DIARIES: CELEBRATE BYO CUP DAY WITH COMMONFOLK & HOME GROUND

    On BYO Cup Day, local venues are celebrating the reuse revolution and aim to serve 100% of coffees in reusables.


    JOIN US FOR BYO CUP DAY LAUNCH:

    • FRI 08 December at COMMONFOLK Mornington – 16 Progress Street, Mornington
    • SAT 09 December at HOME GROUND Mornington – 22 Robertson Drive, Mornington

    DINE IN, BYO OR BORROW TO WIN: Plastic Free Places is running a competition for you to win a beautiful ceramic cup by Peninsula artist Natalie Heriot. To enter, share a photo with a reusable cup and tag @wastewisepeninsula on Facebook or Instagram or submit a photo with your cup.

     

    BYO CUP TO SUPPORT YOUTH AT RISK.

    Did you know, each single use cup costs our local venues up to 50c in packaging? When you bring your own cup to HOME GROUND in Mornington, the money saved in packaging supports youth at risk.

    Whether it’s lack of public transport, inadequate training or low self belief, the challenge of finding a good job for young locals is very real. HOME GROUND bridges these gaps and provides training & employment pathways for young people at risk.

    They also have a big focus on limiting their footprint and have officially joined the Plastic Free Places program with Boomerang Alliance. You can support their mission by making One.Change. When you bring your own cup to this venue the money saved in packaging goes straight back into supporting at risk youth.

     

    Back to November 2023 Newsletter page >>


  • published Sydney - Let's go next level sustainable 2023-11-22 10:16:47 +1100

    Sydney - Let's go next level sustainable

    If your local café carries the environmental torch, but still uses single-use cups (let’s face it, it’s so hard for cafes to ditch the disposable cup when our societal appetite for convenience is at an all-time high), we can help them.

    And we’d like YOU to let them know that.

    Because cafes listen to their customers!

    Our project in Sydney needs 100 cafes who want to make a difference, but don’t know where to start. We’ll work closely with them to supercharge their use of reusables, document their journey, and showcase their achievements.

    It’s important because these businesses will be at the forefront of change, helping to shape future directions on single-use in NSW.

    And we’d like you to tell them of this great new project. We have a variety of reusable options they can consider, and we'll help them implement these, and measure their results. We'll then promote them so they can inspire the community by what they've achieved.

    All the information they (and you) need is at www.plasticfreeplaces.org/sydney-join.

    Or, tag them in one of our Instagram posts @reuseprojectsydney.

    Sydney – let’s go next level sustainable!

     

    Back to November 2023 Newsletter page >>


  • published Container Deposit Scheme Update 2023-11-20 15:04:46 +1100

    Container Deposit Scheme Update

    On 1 November, Victoria became the seventh and second last State to introduce a cash for containers scheme. It means that Victorians can now claim a refund on eligible containers returned for recycling. Our campaign to have a container refund scheme in every state is almost complete.

    Victoria is suffering from initial implementation problems exacerbated by having three Network Operators, offering different levels of convenience to get refunds. The over-the-counter refund points are particularly problematic. It remains to be seen how quickly these issues can be overcome.

    On the same day, Queensland became the first State to accept wine and spirit bottles for a refund. This was a move supported by environment groups, retail associations, the waste industry and the beverage industry. We now look forward to other states and territories following suit.

    The fact is that container deposit or refund schemes work well, so it makes sense to expand on the number of items that could be collected. Wine and spirit bottles are the first action. In the future, items such as other glass jars, larger fruit juice, plain milk, non-beverage and reusable containers could also be included. Our aim is to drive up the return rates to above 90%.

     

    Back to November 2023 Newsletter page >>


  • published Plastic Free Places 2023-11-20 14:26:55 +1100

    Plastic Free Places

    The Plastic Free Places project started as a means to help cafes eliminate and reduce problem single use plastics. We will continue to do this. However, we also encourage cafes to switch to reusable alternatives where they could. We now want to ramp up that agenda.

    We’re on a mission to make reusables the ONLY option.We’re doing some amazing things across the country to mobilise support for the reusables movement. These include:

    • A video case study of RAC Arena in Perth, telling the story of their reusable cup system.

    • A guide to help businesses on how to talk to their customers about reusables.

    • Our first reusable community in Port Douglas (Qld). We’re setting up a reuse swap system for coffee cups between hotels and local cafes, as well as expanding the local water reuse networks. Supported by the Qld State Government and Douglas Shire Council, it’s due to launch in March.

    • A big behaviour change project in the Qld Government’s Department of Environment and Science building in Brisbane to introduce a reusable system that also connects in with the local cafés to create a new reusable workplace culture. We're currently collecting all the baseline data to launch the on-ground component in February.

    • A smaller scale version for the office in the Tasmanian Government’s Lands Building in Hobart.

     

    What can you do to help?

    BYO and please actively support businesses trying to do the right thing! They often tell us they feel their efforts are not noticed by their customers, though people are quick to complain. Let’s even this out and let our locals know we appreciate their efforts. It makes a difference.

    See our Plastic Free Places website for more information on our projects.

     

    Back to November 2023 Newsletter page >>


  • UNWRAPPED: The Truth about Supermarket Plastics

    Supermarkets in Australia are a $130 billion industry and responsible for supplying the majority of household plastic packaging. The Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Boomerang Alliance have audited plastic use in our supermarkets and released a first audit on their performance.

    We used publicly available data and then followed up with specific questions directly to the supermarkets. We focussed on the big three (Woolworths, Coles and ALDI) with a watching brief on Metcash (IGA/Foodland).

    Based on our assessments ALDI leads the way in the Australian market, achieving the highest score in 2023. We note that all our supermarkets still have a long way to go before they are any way near world's best practice, something we think should be the goal.

    A big thank you to all our citizen investigators for conducting their own surveys. The data was captured in the report. We plan for this to be an annual audit.

    KEY FINDINGS

    • Most supermarkets are not transparent about their plastic footprint.

    • Reuse and refill systems need to be scaled up urgently, to provide consumers with cost comparative options without unnecessary plastic packaging

    • Leading supermarkets are not prioritising removal of plastic, over-relying on false solutions such as 'lightweighting' - making packaging lighter to claim plastic reductions.

    • Loose fresh produce is frequently more expensive than plastic-packed produce, pushing consumers towards unnecessary plastic packaging, and penalises those who try to reduce their plastic consumption in a cost-of-living crisis.

    • Supplier packaging guidelines are rarely enforced, allowing suppliers to use whatever packaging option is cheapest or easiest to print marketing material onto.

    • Recycling and recycled content was the worst performing area of all assessed categories. In spite of the message coming from Australian supermarkets, little real progress has been made on increasing the recycled content in plastic packaging, diminishing recycling efforts and the vision of creating a circular economy for plastics in Australia.

     

     

    Back to November 2023 Newsletter page >>


  • published Choosing to Reuse in Australia 2023-11-20 12:15:50 +1100

    Choosing to Reuse in Australia

    The Boomerang Alliance has released its Reuse report calling for greater focus on reusable cups and containers for takeaway. In May 2023 the UN (Turning off the Tap) calculated that with reuse, plastic pollution can be slashed by 30% by 2040. The report supported refillable bottles, bulk dispensers, deposit return schemes and packaging take back.

    Our report puts focus on hot beverage cups and lids and food containers used in cafes and for takeaway and examines proven systems. This is a good place to start by changing habits away from home where waste and litter is more likely.

    We outlined the opportunities for reuse and the places that could make some immediate changes. These include offices, at stadiums and events, in cafes, restaurants and food courts, at supermarkets and in other 'controlled environments' such as transport services (planes, trains and ferries). The container refund schemes now active around the country should also be able to collect reusable containers as they do in Germany.

    The report calls on more action by governments. Our view is that all disposable cups and food containers should be phased out. To help that transition, governments should be banning the use of disposable cups and containers for dine-in; all takeaway outlets also offering their customers reusable alternatives; and the introduction of a surcharge on all disposable items sold. The proceeds to be used to set up reuse systems.

    The business sector must also play its part by changing their practices. Corporations such as Mirvac have invested in a reusable cup system for their staff. Bonza Airways offer reusable cups in-flight. We need more businesses to act.

    A big question we ask is - why don't our supermarkets offer a returnable container service for delicatessen items and for delivery services? This is becoming increasingly common across Europe and the UK.

     

    Back to November 2023 Newsletter page >>


  • published Lets not go soft on plastics 2023-11-20 11:14:08 +1100

    Lets not go soft on plastics

    In April 2023, Boomerang Alliance supporters in their thousands voiced their concerns about the lack of soft plastic collections following the collapse of the REDcycle scheme. Since then, the Australian Food and Grocery Council has provided more details of recovery via pilots of its evolving National Soft Plastic Recycling Scheme. It involved a few local government areas trialling the collection of soft plastics through household kerbside collection.

    Households place soft plastics in a special bag that can be identified at the recycling centre so it can be sorted separately. Soft plastics and plastic film and bags can't be recovered alongside other recyclables like paper or rigid plastic containers.

    So far the trial is proving successful and showing that collection at kerbside can work. The emerging scheme also requires the packaging industry to contribute to the cost of collections. This is a key principle that must be adopted under any Product Stewardship scheme.

    It's urgent we resolve this as households (even those which were stockpiling) are now disposing of soft plastics in the bin. The Boomerang Alliance is calling for the scheme to be expanded nationally in 2024. This would mean any household that has a kerbside recycling collection service would also be able to discard their soft plastic wastes in their recycling bin using a dedicated bag for this purpose.

     

    Back to November 2023 Newsletter page >>


  • New national rules for packaging - we are still waiting.......

    Whilst we wait for the Commonwealth Government to release its consultation paper for the promised Product Stewardship for Packaging Scheme (scheduled to be in place by 2025), the Boomerang Alliance has challenged the packaging industry to cooperate and take full responsibility for its products and pay the full costs of product design, collection, and processing of all packaging.

    EPR or product stewardship is based upon the polluter pays principle.In the case of packaging, its successful application means that those who produce the packaging and put it into the market must assume full responsibility for that packaging through its entire life cycle, including after it has been discarded by the consumer.

    This means producers taking a circular economy approach involving the whole supply chain, with producers directly accountable for meeting stringent reduction, recovery and recycled content targets. The soft plastics crisis, following the collapse of REDCycle collections, was a result of an industry failing to take responsibility for its own packaging waste and government trusting a voluntary program.

    The container refund schemes now active across Australia, are successful examples of a circular economy where producers (the beverage industry) are responsible for the full costs associated with the recovery of their products.

    The Boomerang Alliance has released its model for a Product Stewardship scheme.

    We have briefed all State and Territory Governments and called for our model to be adopted.The community has been waiting for over 25 years to solve the packaging waste crisis, it's time to get the policies and practices right.

     

    Back to November 2023 Newsletter page >>


  • Unwrapped: The truth about supermarket plastic

    Supermarkets in Australia are a $130.2 billion industry, responsible for the majority of household plastic packaging. See how your supermarket ranks in the first ever independent audit of supermarket plastic use in Australia.

    For too long, supermarkets in Australia have not been held accountable for the amount of plastic packaging they generate, pumping out difficult-to-recycle packaging at the expense of our environment. With no legislated mandate to curb plastic production, supermarkets have largely avoided public accountability relating to the amount of plastic on their shelves.

    Supermarkets in Australia all claim to be leading the way in sustainability in Australia - but who is making the biggest difference? Find out how your supermarket ranked in our 2023 supermarket plastics audit, so you can vote with your feet.

    View our audit framework and volunteer surveys.

    Aldi leads the way in the Australian supermarket sector, achieving the highest score in 2023, with Coles, Woolworths, and Metcash (IGA, Foodland, and others) following.

     

    KEY FINDINGS

    • Most supermarkets are not transparent about their plastic footprint.

    • Reuse and refill systems need to be scaled up urgently, to provide consumers with cost comparative options without unnecessary plastic packaging

    • Leading supermarkets are not prioritising removal of plastic, over-relying on false solutions such as 'lightweighting' - making packaging lighter to claim plastic reductions.

    • Loose fresh produce is frequently more expensive than plastic-packed produce, pushing consumers towards unnecessary plastic packaging, and penalises those who try to reduce their plastic consumption in a cost-of-living crisis.

    • Supplier packaging guidelines are rarely enforced, allowing suppliers to use whatever packaging option is cheapest or easiest to print marketing material onto.

    • Recycling and recycled content was the worst performing area of all assessed categories. In spite of the message coming from Australian supermarkets, little real progress has been made on increasing the recycled content in plastic packaging, diminishing recycling efforts and the vision of creating a circular economy for plastics in Australia.

    Australians have been doing our part- recycling and picking up trash. But unless we stop plastic at the source, it is just a band aid solution and our incredible marine life will continue to suffer the consequences.

    You can help keep supermarkets accountable

    For the first time, Australia’s federal, state, and territory governments have come together to develop new laws on plastic packaging, thanks to pressure from Boomerang Alliance supporters like you.

    Will you sign the petition supporting laws to cut plastic by 20% by 2030?

     


  • published NSW Plastics Plan 2023 - HAVE YOUR SAY in Latest News 2023-12-15 15:46:28 +1100

    NSW Plastics Plan 2023 - HAVE YOUR SAY

    The NSW Government has released its Plastic Plan - Next Steps. The plan follows up on bans on straws, cutlery and other problem plastic items that were introduced in 2022.

    Read more

  • published Petition: Cut plastic by 20% by 2030! 2023-10-24 16:45:21 +1100

    Petition: Cut plastic packaging by 20% by 2030!

    SIGN THE PETITION TO CUT PLASTIC PACKAGING BY 20% AND INTRODUCE A 30% REUSABLE PACKAGING TARGET

    Demand an ambitious national packaging solution to turn the tide on plastic.

    Plastic is everywhere and in everything – found in our rivers, air and along our beaches; in fish, seabirds and in the food we eat.

    The amount of plastic entering our oceans every year is going to triple by 20401 because not enough is done to cut plastic waste and pollution2.

    "Australia generates more single-use plastic waste per person than any other country except Singapore" - Minderoo Foundation, Plastic Wastemaker Index.

    Australia's environment ministers have agreed to an ambitious packaging reform, with federal Minister Tanya Plibersek calling for a "Plastic-Pollution-Free Pacific in our lifetimes" – committing to world leading regulation in 2024.

    But it won’t occur without cutting the amount of plastic we use in the first place.

    TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN, WE URGENTLY NEED YOUR SUPPORT. 

    Will you sign the petition for a National Plastic Reduction Target? 

    Alongside our partners, allies and supporters, we have developed a world leading packaging solution which we'd like to see adopted.

    The new scheme will make producers reduce plastic and pay for the collection & recovery of their packaging.

     


    1 The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ. (2019). Breaking the Plastic Wave
    2 Ellen Macarthur Foundation. (2022). The Global Commitment 2022 Progress Report

    2,801 signatures

    PETITION STATEMENT

    To The Hon. Tanya Plibersek, Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water,

    In respect to proposed laws regarding the use of packaging in Australia, in response to the Review of the National Environment Protection (Used Packaging Materials) Measure 2011 and the Australian Packaging Covenant, and findings that Australia will be unable to meet recycling targets, we the undersigned call upon the government to implement the best practice stewardship model for packaging.

    This should include a national target to reduce plastic packaging by 20% and introduce a 30% reusable packaging target by 2030, alongside other measures to restrain the use of unnecessary, harmful and hard to recycle packaging.

    Australia generates more single-use plastic waste per person than any other country except Singapore, generating an estimated 59kg of plastic waste per person annually - compared with a global average of 15kg per person. Noting that only 18% of plastic packaging is recovered for recycling in Australia, we urge the government to follow the example of countries such as France, who have set a goal to reduce plastic packaging 20% by 2025.

    With research showing that global leakage of plastic into the ocean is likely to triple by 2040, urgent action is needed to limit plastic use. Enshrining a plastic reduction target within the law would support Australia's global commitment to the goal of restraining plastics consumption to sustainable levels, as a member of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution.

    Add signature

  • Thank you for signing our petition!

    Thank you for signing our petition to cut plastic packaging by 20% and introduce a 30% reusable packaging target.

    STAY IN THE LOOP: Make sure you sign up to Boomerang Alliance's campaign updates for insights and more ways to take action.

    Every single signature matters so please share this petition page to others who may want to sign.

    https://www.boomerangalliance.org.au/petition_cut_plastic_by_20_percent_by_2030

     


    Can you chip in to support this campaign?
    Your support is critical to the success of our campaign. Your donation will help us reach new supporters and gain momentum across Australia.


  • published National Packaging Solution in Campaigns 2023-09-20 15:53:39 +1000

    National Packaging Solution

    Packaging producers must take full responsibility and pay for packaging waste & pollution.

    The Boomerang Alliance is challenging the packaging industry to take full responsibility and pay for the costs of its waste and pollution decisions.

    Ahead of the Commonwealth Government promising to introduce a Mandatory Product Stewardship Scheme for Packaging by 2025, we have released our model guidelines based on International best practice.

    These include stringent Extended Producer Responsibility requirements where product manufacturers take full responsibility for their products, from the design stage through to end of life. This allows for products to be collected, recovered and reused rather than being littered or discarded in landfill.

     

    CIRCULAR ECONOMY APPROACH

    We demand a circular economy approach to packaging which involves the whole supply chain, with producers directly accountable for meeting stringent reduction, recovery and recycled content targets.

    National actions required to achieve a best practice circular economy for packaging:



    AUSTRALIA'S SOFT PLASTICS REFORM 

    The soft plastics collection crisis, following the REDcycle collapse, is an example of an industry currently failing to take responsibility for its own packaging waste.

    Given Australia’s alarmingly low national plastic packaging recycling rates (approx. 12%), major reform is urgently required and must include extended producer responsibility principles, similar to what is being applied to container refund schemes.

    Container refund schemes are now active across Australia, where producers (the beverage industry) are responsible for the full costs associated with the recovery of their products and 60-80% of containers are now being collected for recycling, with some room for improvement.

    In Europe, producers will have to cover the costs of collecting, transporting and treating problem plastics from 2024. The same should be happening in Australia.

     

    10 GUIDING PRINCIPLES

    We have identified 10 key principles that need to be included in Australia's mandated national product stewardship scheme.

    1. Prioritising Avoidance and Reduction
    2. Best Practice Eco-Design of Products
    3. Mandated Standards
    4. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) across Whole of Life Cycle & Supply Chain
    5. Mandatory National Targets and Obligations
    6. Development of Secondary Markets
    7. A national scheme managed under Commonwealth legislation
    8. A standardised monitoring, compliance, and enforcement regime
    9. Commitment to continuous improvement
    10. Consumer Education and Awareness

    In addition to full producer responsibility, packaging standards must include the requirement that packaging is actually recovered in practice. The standards cover packaging that is reusable, compostable or recyclable. The current Australian Recycling Label (ARL), for example, does not require packaging to be recycled in practice, with the result that most plastic packaging goes to landfill.

     


  • published Container Refund Scheme must be expanded in Latest News 2023-09-18 09:52:25 +1000

    Container Refund Scheme must be expanded

    With the NSW container refund scheme (CRS), Return & Earn about to recover its 10billionth beverage container, environmental groups are calling for the state government to move on including wine, spirit and other containers in the successful recycling program.

    Read more

  • published Choosing to reuse in Australia 2023-07-31 18:30:12 +1000

    Choosing to reuse in Australia

    According to the latest report from the UN (Turning off the Tap 2023) global plastic pollution needs to be slashed by 80% by 2040. That report states that 'refillable bottles, bulk dispensers, deposit return systems and packaging take-back can reduce plastic pollution by at least 30%'.

    The Boomerang Alliance is putting our primary focus on making reusable food ware and packaging commonplace. We are starting with cups, coffee cups and lids and food containers used away from home. There are now an increasing number of options and services available that can help make this happen. We just need to adopt the right policies and practices to change our habits away from single use.

    Our campaign has identified a range of scenarios where a start can be made. These include at public events, at takeaway outlets, at supermarkets and shops, in controlled environments such as workplaces, food courts or sport stadiums, in transport services and through container deposit collections.

    Through our Plastic Free Places program, we have already set up reusable programs at events, coffee shops and hotels and are now extending this to include more workplaces. Services such as Returnr, Green Caffeen, Cercle and Reusably now offer workable solutions for many corporate and government offices.

    Stadiums Queensland are currently trialling a reusable cup service that could be used at all stadiums in the state. 

    Why do so many business workplaces allow their staff to leave their desks, buy a takeaway beverage in a disposable cup, and return to their desks? It's a situation where a reusable cup is an easier and far better option to reduce single use plastic waste.

    In Europe, TOMRA who provide many of the reverse vending machines at container collection points have developed, and are now trialing, a public collection system for reusable cups and containers in a Danish city. Expect more cities to join.

    The Boomerang Alliance is now lobbying the Commonwealth and all State and Territory Governments to set new policies to support reusables. We want to see an overall target of 30% reusables before 2030.

    We want to see a ban on disposable food ware for dine-in at cafes and restaurants, every takeaway cafes to also offer reusable cups and containers to their customers and have proposed a new levy on the supply of disposable cups and containers.

    All of these measures are already in place or about to be introduced in other parts of the world. Australia, unfortunately, is lagging behind and needs to catch up. The business and corporate sectors can also play a big part in what we could call a reusable revolution. Supermarkets offering returnable containers for fresh food items, home delivery using reusable crates, airlines providing in-flight catering with reusable food ware or food courts switching back to the practices of the past and using reusable cutlery and plates. These are all opportunities for the taking that will make a difference.

    In the next few weeks, the Boomerang alliance will be releasing our Choosing to Reuse in Australia Report. This outlines many of these examples and more and is intended to prompt both government and business to act to make reusables more commonplace. For too long this has been left to progressive businesses and committed individuals to take the lead. It is now time to step up and put the systems and services in place that can change our habits.

     

    Back to July 2023 Newsletter page >>


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