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  • Boomerang Alliance congratulates Western Australia on Plastic Bans

    July 1, 2022, marks the first day the ban on certain polluting single use plastics in Western Australia is implemented. It means that heavyweight plastics bags, polystyrene food ware, plastic cutlery, straws, cups, plates, and bowls are no longer able to be supplied in the State.

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  • ACT acts on fake green ‘’degradable’’ plastics

    Today’s announcement by the ACT government that all oxodegradable plastics which have been polluting the environment for many years are now banned, was welcomed today by the Boomerang Alliance.

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  • Queensland steps forward on polluting heavyweight plastics bags & coffee cups

    The decision by the Queensland Government to ban all disposable plastic shopping bags steps up the attack on polluting single use plastic items, with the plan to introduce a Reusable Shopping Bag Standard to ensure all shopping bags available from retailers will be genuinely reusable in the future. Disposable coffee cups are now also centre of the agenda.

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  • Not happy Jan: dumped Yellow Pages a "waste of paper"

    Do you still use the hard copy of the Yellow Pages?

    The majority of Australians use the internet to find the contact details of local businesses which is why Bunbury resident Meghan was so upset to find a huge pile of Yellow Pages books "dumped" on her residential street. 

    Read more on ABC Perth website


  • A call for national standard for reusable shopping bags

    Director of Boomerang Alliance, Jeff Angel had a conversation with Scott Levi from ABC Central Coast Breakfast about the need for reusable shopping bags national standard.

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  • Major Supermarkets Must Switch to Only Reusable Bags

    In the last two weeks both Coles and Woolworths have made announcements on future plans for heavyweight (approx. 55mcn) 15 cent plastic bags – which they have been claiming are reusable. Both bags have a high percent of recycled content. Over the last two years their positions on the bags have varied (we will ban; we won’t ban).

    At the same time Boomerang has been pointing out that the bags were not reusable as they had not been tested against a credible benchmark, such as the Californian SB270 code. It requires a bag must be able to carry 10kg with 15litre volume capacity, over 50 metres, at least 125 times and be recyclable at end of use. The vast majority of the big supermarkets’ thicker bags were only used once or twice ending up as litter or in landfill.

    Now at least there has been a partial breakthrough with Woolworths abandoning their heavyweight bags over the next 12 months, in favour of a range of options that include paper (single use), fabric and more durable plastic bags. However Coles will continue with the slightly thicker bag largely made using recycled and marine waste plastics. The Coles position is surprising given that some states are now moving to ban these heavyweight bags (WA is first off in July 2022).

    Both are missing the opportunity to offer their customers a permanent solution, a solution that will meet customer needs and significantly reduce plastic waste and litter. That is the genuinely reusable shopping bag, rather than a single or very limited use bag made of any material including paper. From what the supermarkets are telling us between 70-80% of their customers already bring their own shopping bags. By only providing genuinely reusable bags in the future, that number should go well above 95% as consumers who ‘’forget’’ their reusable bag or shop on the spur of the moment adopt new behaviours (eg, always have access to a compact alternative foldable bag).

    The Boomerang Alliance has put forward a proposal for a national Reusable Shopping Bag Standard, like the Californian code to stop the greenwash about reusability. Such bags should retail at a minimum $2, a price that will incentivise their continued reuse as a shopping bag. Both supermarkets potentially already carry such bags (eg ‘bag for good’) – subject to credible and transparent testing (as the Californian rule prescribes).

    We have urged every State and Territory Government to regulate this issue as a national standard and adopt as soon as possible, and certainly by 2024.


  • Jeff Angel discussed single use plastics ban with Hilary Harper

    Jeff Angel's interview with Hilary Harper from Life Matters, ABC RN

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  • published Woolworths bag phase out – major step in Latest News 2022-06-03 17:55:03 +1000

    Woolworths bag phase out – major step

    The Boomerang Alliance has welcomed today’s announcement by Woolworths that they will phase-out their 15 cent heavyweight plastic bags within 12 months. These slightly thicker bags remain a waste and litter problem, and are unnecessary in Australia.

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  • Plastic Free Places hits 12.5 million pieces of Single Use Plastics Removed

    In the five years since its inception, the Plastic Free Places (PFP) program, run by the Boomerang Alliance, has eliminated, or removed over 12.5 million single use takeaway plastic items from use. That includes plastic straws, cutlery, coffee cups, lids, water bottles and plastic containers.

    Interested food outlets are inducted into the PFP network and shown how to avoid, reuse or switch to non-plastic or certified compostable packaging (Aust Standards). There are over 900 food businesses now participating.

    The program has been an astounding success and shows that given the right advice and support the hospitality sector can easily switch away from using problematic takeaway plastics.

    It demonstrates that the bans being introduced on these products throughout Australia are realistic and achievable, as long as the hospitality sector is given the opportunity to switch, and misleading information (greenwash) is not circulated.

    By reducing single use plastic, we reduce the flow of dangerous plastic pollution into our waterways and ocean, and waste into landfill. The program aligns environment protection that consumers and businesses want with acceptable alternative products and practices like avoidance and reuse; and the increasing moves to ban single use plastic items.

    The PFP program employs an expert coordinator in each location to work directly with cafes, other food outlets and public events to provide best practice advice on packaging alternatives.

     

    Plastic Free Place locations

    Data has been taken from 12 Plastic Free Places including Noosa, Cairns & Douglas, Townsville, Rockhampton, and Livingstone (QLD) Byron Shire, Randwick (NSW), Mt Martha, Elsternwick, Moreland (Vic), Adelaide & Port Lincoln (SA), Perth (WA). Our Darwin (NT) and Hobart surrounds (Tas) programs have only recently launched, so their data is not yet included.

    Background Information about Plastic Free Places: www.plasticfreeplaces.org

     


  • Big Plastic and Waste Agenda for new Fed Minister

    The Boomerang Alliance of 55 environment NGOs welcomes the appointment of Tanya Plibersek, as Australia’s Environment Minister and urges quick action on implementing key recycling and plastic pollution policies.

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  • New Coles “Reusable Bags” are not Genuinely Reusable

    Coles Supermarkets in their recent announcement about using marine plastic waste in plastic bags are undermining their own Together to Zero Waste strategy by failing to meet genuine standards for reusability.

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  • published NSW Plastic Bags Ban in Latest News 2022-05-19 11:41:39 +1000

    NSW Plastic Bags Ban

    Jeff Angel speaking to Melinda James from ABC Breakfast about NSW plastic bag ban.

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  • published INCINERATION - Wrong way, turn back! in Latest News 2022-05-17 11:44:52 +1000

    INCINERATION - Wrong way, turn back!

    Zero Waste NZ say it well in 2.20mins. We are seeing the same industry push in Australia. For more information, visit Zero Waste Network website.


  • published VIC Single Use Plastics Ban in Latest News 2022-05-13 13:56:26 +1000

    VIC Single Use Plastics Ban

     

    The next State to introduce a single use plastics phase out is Victoria, scheduled for February 2023.

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  • Environment Groups call for Mandated Targets on Plastics

    National plastic reduction, recycling, and reuse targets for 2025 will not be met unless the next Commonwealth Government acts to ensure their delivery.

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  • Have Your Say on Victoria’s Single Use Plastics Ban

    The Victorian Government proposes to ban the above items in February 2023. These bans go some way towards Victoria catching up with South Australia, Queensland, the ACT, Western Australia, and New South Wales who have either already introduced or plan to introduce bans before the end of 2022.

    These proposed bans are welcomed. All of these products could be avoided or have reusable or non-plastic alternatives currently available. However more can be done.

    We encourage all our allied and associated organisations, supporters, and all who are concerned about the amount of single use plastic used, littered or wasted, to have their say.

    The Boomerang Alliance view is below, and you are welcome to use these five comments in your submission:

    1. I/We support these proposed bans for February 2023.

    2. I/We oppose exemptions that allow banned items (such as plastic straws and cutlery) in pre-packaged products until 2025. Suppliers have had time to remove these items in other States, so do not need more time for this in Victoria.

    3. I/We oppose the exemption for plastic lined party plates. There are plain plates available and if consumers want coloured or branded plates they can purchase reusable ones instead.

    4. The Victorian Government encourages reusable food ware but does not offer any incentives for suppliers and consumers to shift their practices. The Government should provide retailers and takeaway food outlets with incentives to provide reusable containers to their customers.

    5. These bans are a first step. There should be further bans on other problem single use plastics such as coffee cups/lids, drink and food containers, heavyweight plastic bags, and unnecessary plastic packing on retail products. A ban on the release of helium balloons should be included.


    You can Have Your Say by providing a submission by 15 May 2022 to [email protected]

    or answering the on-line survey on https://engage.vic.gov.au/SUP-ban-regulations


  • published NT Plastics and Recycling Move Up a Gear in Latest News 2022-05-02 13:31:27 +1000

    NT Plastics and Recycling Move Up a Gear

    The release of the Northern Territory Circular Economy Strategy is a welcome step up, to grow recycling and curb plastic pollution.

    The Territory’s management of waste and recycling has been pretty abysmal to date and the new Strategy should set it along the path to significant improvement, although Boomerang Alliance would like the government to move faster on the single use plastic bans.

    Given other states are successfully transitioning to avoidance and non-plastic alternatives on quicker timeframes and business is adjusting well, the NT should set a date of mid-2023 for the ban on plastic - heavyweight bags, straws, cutlery, EPS food containers, plates and bowls to take effect. The ban on release of helium balloons is a great move putting the Territory near the top of such state actions.

    There’s a lot of work on the new regulatory regime needed as circular economy principles and processes will require effective implementation. Boomerang Alliance is pleased that the Strategy also commits to targets for recycled content in buildings and civil construction.

    Read more

  • Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - March 2022

    March 2022
     

    There’s a lot happening in the zero waste area and since our establishment in 2003 Boomerang has made an impact. Bans on single use plastics are being introduced across the nation; by 2023 Australia will be fully covered with container refund schemes; new bottle to bottle plants are being built; and a global plastic pollution treaty is being negotiated.

    It’s a good start but there’s more to do. This Newsletter also tells you about our ongoing work to introduce reusables (bags, cups or foodware); the challenge of fruit and veg plastic packaging; expanding Plastic Free Places; and key policies for the upcoming federal election. The momentum must continue.

    We can do this with your support and strategic collaborations with key groups in business, government and, of course, our 55 NGO allies. The circular economy is not just a theory – it can become reality.

    Jeff Angel
    Director

     
    THE SINGLE USE BAN RACE


    While South Australia has led the way in most categories of single-use plastic bans, followed closely by Queensland and the ACT, the other states are making ground - especially Western Australia.

    • WA has brought in regulations to ban the heavyweight (commonly 15c) plastic supermarket bags and helium balloon releases, from January 2022 but not actively enforced until July 2022.
    • Queensland was the first to ban polystyrene foodware and plates, cups and bowls (if not enclosed with a lid) from September 2021 and ACT is the first to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds (from July 2022).
    • At this stage it looks like the only thing NSW may blaze a trail in is banning plastic fruit stickers - they are thinking about this!

    See the table above for who has done what and when or who is considering action according to their public announcements.

     
    CAMPAIGN UPDATES
     

    FEDERAL ELECTION - PUSH FOR POLICIES

    With a Commonwealth election looming, we have sent all the major parties our list of priorities for the next Parliament. When you go to vote, we would ask that you consider these particular issues. They are important to address plastic pollution and solving our continuing waste problems.


    CONTAINER REFUND LAW WINS

    Some years ago at a Global Deposit Conference in London, it was predicted Australia could be the first continent to be fully covered by bottle and can refund laws (CRS). This is about to happen!


    REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS SHOULD BE EVERYWHERE

    The Boomerang Alliance and our allies have released our national Heavyweight Shopping Bag Plan that calls for regulations to eliminate single-use shopping bags and switch to only reusable bags within two years.


    PLASTIC FREE PLACES

    In the five years since its inception, our Plastic Free Places (PFP) program has eliminated, or removed over 11 million single use takeaway plastic items. This includes straws, cutlery, coffee cups/lids, cups, plastic containers, and single-use water bottles.


    TIME TO PHASE OUT SINGLE USE TAKEAWAY PACKAGING

    Only an estimated 3% of takeaway cups and containers are considered reusable in Australia. We have one of the lowest reusable/refillable container use rates in the world. A staggering indictment on our progress towards sustainability.

       
     
     

    HOW GOOD ARE YOUR HOT CROSS BUNS? MAKE SURE YOUR EASTER DOESN'T HARM WILDLIFE

    Every year as early as January a product pops up in plastic bags at the supermarkets and stays until Easter... I think you know we are referring to hot cross buns. After the hot cross buns are eaten the plastic bags they came in often go to landfill, and sadly some landfill sites leak plastic due to wind and wildlife like foraging birds. If they end up in waterways then they can endanger many more wildlife.

    How can we reduce the extra plastic waste and potential plastic pollution created by yummy hot cross buns?

    • Reduce the extra plastic waste by supporting your local bakery where you can usually get them in paper bags. 
    • If you don't have a local bakery, check your supermarket and ask them if you can get hot cross buns in alternative bags in future.

    Let's all use less plastic all year 'round.

     

    SIGN THE BALLOON RELEASE BAN PETITION

     

     
    We would not have been able to do all these works without our supporters. Please donate so we can continue our fight against plastic pollution.
     

     


  • More News on Packaging

    On the face of it some good news from Coke but we have heard such good things before. We are keeping a sceptical eye on this and will believe it when we see it. One thing the company could do is to set up reusable container collection arrangements through the container refund schemes in Australia right now.


    Did you know?

    As part of our Plastic Free Places program. We encourage member cafes to make reusables a core part of their customer service. This includes becoming part of a reusable cup network such as Green Caffeen. Our BYO cups promotion in 2021 led to some astonishing results with some participating cafes happily reporting that many more of their customers brought their own coffee cups than they anticipated.


    Plastic Wrapping on fresh produce encourages food waste

    An 18-month study by UK sustainability charity WRAP has found that plastic wrapping around many fresh fruits and vegetables does not prolong shelf life. The study examined five items commonly wrapped in plastic that included bananas, broccoli, cucumber, and potatoes. The study also concluded that using plastic wrapping also had the effect of increasing food waste.

     

    Back to March 2022 Newsletter page >>


  • Plastic Free Places Removes 11 Million Pieces of Single Use Plastics

    In the four years since its inception, our Plastic Free Places (PFP) program has eliminated, or removed over 11 million single use takeaway plastic items. This includes straws, cutlery, coffee cups/lids, cups, plastic containers, and single-use water bottles.

          


    Interested food outlets are inducted into the PFP network and assisted to avoid, reuse or switch to non-plastic or certified compostable packaging. We also work with manufacturers and suppliers to facilitate solutions for businesses. There are over 850 food retailer businesses who have joined up nationwide and, as the data shows, change is being achieved. Through this engagement, the Boomerang Alliance team can continue to work with businesses to improve their practices, particularly towards more reusable packaging.

    The programs astounding success shows that given our practical advice on products, pricing and procurement support, that the café and event sector can easily switch away from using problem takeaway plastics. It demonstrates that bans being introduced on these products around Australia will work, as long as the sector is given the opportunity to switch, and misleading information (greenwash) is not circulated.

    PFP employs an expert coordinator in each location to directly work with cafes, other food outlets and public events. The program has worked in 11 places including Noosa, Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, and Livingstone (QLD) Byron Shire (NSW), Mt Martha, Elsternwick, Moreland (Vic), Adelaide (SA), Bassendean, Victoria Park (WA). We have now added new locations - Randwick (NSW), Mornington Peninsula (VIC) Darwin (NT), SE Tasmania (TAS), Stirling/Rottnest Island (WA), Douglas Shire (QLD) and Port Lincoln (SA). These additional locations have received funding from the Commonwealth Government as part of its Plastic Free Beaches initiative.

    More info www.plasticfreeplaces.org

     

     

    Back to March 2022 Newsletter page >>


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