The Australian Federal Election will take place in May 2019 and Boomerang Alliance will be following it closely. Through the election period there will be articles and media releases that will address our concern about the waste and recycling issues.Together with the Australian Council of Recyclers (ACOR), Boomerang Alliance released 5 priority actions for the next Commonwealth Government needs to implement to solve Australia’s waste and recycling crisis. We are calling on all political parties to announce support for these measures. The five measures include investment in recycling, tax incentives for 'Buy Recycled', strengthening the Product Stewardship Act, adopting a Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy and getting better data on waste, litter and resource recovery (see media release in resources page)For you, our allies and supporters, this means we are seeking:
- Funding for a Recycling Industry Development scheme of $150 million
- Phasing out of single use plastic takeaway items (coffee cups/lids, straws, cups and containers and cutlery)
- A national ban on plastic bags and microbeads and introduction of a CDS in every State
- Strengthen the Product Stewardship Act to make all packaging composted or recycled before 2025
- Adopting a national Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy for other single use plastics
- Support for global action and help for our neighbors deal with plastic litter and waste
STATEMENT FROM KEY PARTIES
A re-elected Morrison Government will invest $203 million to increase recycling and reduce waste, protect Australia’s unique threatened species and restore our waterways and coasts.
A Shorten Labor Government will make Australia a world leader in tackling plastic use and boosting recycling – investing $290 million to cut waste and handing on a cleaner Australia for the next generation.
The Greens will invest $500 million over five years into infrastructure and programs to reboot recycling.
Rianti Bieler published Why is recycling plastic packaging so hard in Australia in Federal Election 2019 2019-04-23 06:54:43 +1000
Where the three Key Political Parties stand on Plastics and Recycling
Posted by Jeff Angel · May 14, 2019 10:43 AM
Plastic Pollution: Why helping our Pacific neighbours is important
Posted by Toby Hutcheon · May 13, 2019 12:10 PM
Phase-Out Single use Plastics is the next step in reducing Plastic PollutionSee all posts
Posted by Toby Hutcheon · May 06, 2019 12:21 PM
Rianti Bieler published ACOR and Boomerang Alliance announce the 5 big waste policies for Federal Election in Federal Election 2019 2019-03-26 18:30:02 +1100
Rianti Bieler published ....On the TWELFTH day of Christmas, Time to get creative in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-14 19:55:23 +1100
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And it’s also the most wasteful. Studies suggest household refuse increases by 30 per cent as Australians splurge $50million on food, drink, presents…and decorations.
And with the vast majority of Christmas decorations comprise of plastic in some form, a huge percentage is destined for landfill comes New Year where they will languish for a very long time.
And while there are a number of plastic-free options for sale, why not get creative and make your own gorgeous festive decorations. They’re easy to assemble and fun for all the family. Here’s a couple of suggestions for festive merriment this holiday season.
Deck the halls with our festive prints. Print them out and simply fashion into any shape you fancy.
ORIGAMI PAPER CHRISTMAS TREE
CONICAL CHRISTMAS TREE
Rianti Bieler published ....On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas.. Save money on postage! in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-11 18:18:34 +1100
We’ve all been there. It’s Christmas Eve and between all the shopping and wrapping and cooking and stressing, there’s the horrible realization you forgot to send Christmas cards. But who needs a festive greeting that comes covered in glitter or wrapped in plastic, requires postage and takes an age to be delivered.
Digital Christmas cards are the only way to go and the benefits are outstanding. No plastic footprint, no charge and instant delivery anywhere around the globe means eChristmas cards are the way of the future.
Rianti Bieler published ....On the TENTH day of Christmas.. money money money! in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-10 13:09:15 +1100
Cash, bills, dough, Benjamins, bucks, dinero, wonga – whatever you call it, nothing beats money as the ultimate Christmas gift. Instead of scrambling around for a gift, or being landed with an item you would sooner do without, cash is always the way to go. And forget gift cards and gift vouchers. They’re usually plastic and unrecyclable and bind you to an individual store.
So for the perfect gift, fashion a homemade card, pop a note in there and spread the Xmas cheer.
FACT: EVERYONE LOVES MONEY
Rianti Bieler published ....On the NINTH day of Christmas.. the art of furoshiki in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-09 08:27:48 +1100
Forget wrapping paper, plastic labels or sticky tape. It's all about Furoshiki.
Originating from Japan, the age-old technique of wrapping gifts in a fabric of choice has made a significant resurgence in the wake of increasing environmental awareness.
Highly versatile, colourful vibrant fabric like scarfs can be found at op shops while cutting up old sheets offers the opportunity to decorate and embellish with dyes and fabric paint or pens. And tying with a ribbon gives that extra personal touch.
Affordable and eco-friendly, there are hundreds of tutorials clips with knot techniques on YouTube. And let’s be honest, all the cools kids are doing it.
FACT: Cloth wrapping has been used for over 1200 years in Japan and the word furoshiki came about during the Edo period (1603-1868) when the cloths were commonly used in bath houses to wrap clothes and as a bath mat. The word furoshiki means 'bath spread'.
Rianti Bieler published ....On the EIGHT day of Christmas.. say NO to plastic toys in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-08 07:24:27 +1100
REDUCE: Non-plastic toys
The toy industry is a huge contributor to the waste stream because 90 per cent of toys made are of plastic, they’re virtually unrecyclable – and kids can’t get enough of them. AND let's not forget the plastic packaging.
Thankfully, there is a wide selection of non-plastic alternatives available.
Wooden toys are the obvious choice. They're classic, durable and long lasting. And go for ones that offer more open-ended play where children can think up lots of different games with them rather than being restricted to just one.
FACT: The health effects of the chemicals used in the manufacturing of plastic toys are not fully known but at least one type of common chemical, called phthalates ― which is used to soften toys ― has been linked to a number of health issues including birth defects, diabetes and cancer.
In short, plastic toys are BAD!
Rianti Bieler published ....On the SEVENTH day of Christmas.. make memories! in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-07 16:13:05 +1100
Making memories together is what life is all about. And what better way to do that then by gifting your loved ones with special experiences they’ll never forget.
Why not paddle-boarding? Get fit and up close and personal with some of the hidden, inaccessible gems on our coastline.
What about a whale-watching cruise? Encounter the majestic marine wildlife we’re striving to protect from marine plastic pollution.
Why not a tour of the Great Barrier Reef if you’re feeling particularly generous?
The choices and possibilities are endless.
TIP: Shop around for a local experience to help support your community
Rianti Bieler published ....On the SIXTH day of Christmas, give a gift of plants in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-06 20:36:45 +1100
REDUCE: Sowing the seeds
They say a home without plants is a home without life.
The benefits are endless – improvement of air quality and humidity and reduction of carbon dioxide levels. They’re proven to reduce stress levels and promote calm and serenity. And let’s be real, they’re beautiful to look at.
So what could be a better gift this Christmas? But while garden centres generally exercise the use of plastic pots (often unrecyclable black plastic, no less), why not gift your friends and family with a packet of seeds. Flowers, herbs, saplings, the choice is yours.
And boost your sustainability street cred by reusing an old paper egg carton (try to avoid the Styrofoam alternative).
Cut the cups of your carton apart and pop your seed in with some soil. Experts also suggest tossing in a pinch of coffee grounds because they add nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.
When they’re ready, plant them directly into the earth and the roots will be able to break through the paper which will break down into compost eventually. The paper will also help your newly-planted seedling's roots stay moist until it breaks down
TIP: For a truly plastic-free Christmas, dress one of your pot plants in decorations and lights and avoid chopping down a tree. When you’re done, put it back outside for another year.
Rianti Bieler published ....On the SECOND day of Christmas, Reuse Books! in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-02 16:06:52 +1100
REUSE - Books!
Books are the perfect plastic-free present for your family and friends this Christmas. From classic tales to latest bestsellers, the perfect page-turner can enhance the imagination, expand the mind and broaden knowledge.
When you’re finished, books are the perfect regift. But remember, paperback is best. Avoid hardback covers with plastic sleeves
TIP: Protect trees by purchasing an electronic or second-hand copy from your local op shop.
....On the TWELFTH day of Christmas, Time to get creative
Posted by Rianti Bieler · December 14, 2018 7:55 PM
....On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas.. Save money on postage!
Posted by Rianti Bieler · December 11, 2018 6:18 PM
....On the TENTH day of Christmas.. money money money!See all posts
Posted by Rianti Bieler · December 10, 2018 1:09 PM
Rianti Bieler published Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2018 in Newsletter 2018-10-01 19:40:07 +1000
It's been a busy quarter for Boomerang Alliance, as we move towards the end of a year that has heralded such enormous change around our favourite subject – plastic pollution! The momentum continues unabated, and as always, we have been at the vanguard of the movement, bringing an independent and informed voice to a diverse range of fora.
Much discussion has been seen in the wake of China's ban on plastic imports, which continues to bite across Australia. State and federal governments are seeking answers to address the crisis and among other initiatives, Boomerang Alliance was invited to take part in a series of consultation workshops in July, conducted by the University of Technology Sydney's Institute of Sustainable Futures, on behalf of the NSW Environment Protection Authority.
September also saw the launch of the Federal Government's expanded targets to reduce plastic packaging, accompanied by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation's (APCO) Australasian Recycling Label and the corresponding PREP Packaging Design tool. While we welcome these steps, questions arise around whether there is sufficient ambition to achieve the desired outcomes. (For more detail, check out our Latest News story)
We always welcome the opportunity to participate in and contribute to these discussions, and we see our role evolving to one of greater collaboration in finding the right solutions, now that the world is finally coming around to our way of thinking. There are plenty of 'traps for young players' along the way, but our long history of dealing with these issues means we are ideally placed to support those embarking on the path and seeking to achieve genuinely positive outcomes and we look forward to sharing our knowledge across an increasingly engaged stakeholder audience.
While the pace remains relatively slow, there are encouraging signs across the spectrum, but we can't take our eyes off the prize. Community mobilisation and campaigning remain the core of our activities and with the help of our loyal supporters, Boomerang Alliance will continue to drive ambitious objectives, call for robust policy measures to improve our resource efficiency and above all, ensure that our environment receives the consideration it deserves.
Jayne Paramor - Deputy Director of Boomerang Alliance
Our Facebook photo competition SnapBack, encouraging our supporters and environmentally conscious consumers to name and shame retailers and producers for unnecessary plastic packaging, was a huge success and resulted in a highly publicised feature in Guardian Australia.
FORUM: THE FUTURE OF PLASTIC PACKAGING
After the success of Snap Back photo competition, BA's plastic packaging campaign continued apace in July with a hugely successful breakfast forum, 'The Future of Plastic Packaging – Driving Change for Consumer Packaged Goods'.
'310,000 PIECES OF SINGLE-USE PLASTIC…'
BA's Communities Taking Control scheme has made significant strides over the winter months. Plastic Free Noosa has recruited a further 80 business members for a total of 140 establishments reducing their plastic footprint, while Plastic Free Wollongong has joined forces with music festivals and clean up events to target plastic consumption.
QLD CONTAINER REFUND SCHEME TOUR
In anticipation of the QLD container refund scheme launch date on Nov 1, Boomerang Alliance hosted a series of forums across the state to introduce COEX who will run the scheme.
THE TROUBLE WITH COLES...
June and July saw something of a 'comedy of errors' emerge around the implementation of retailer plastic bag bans, highlighting that in those states without the benefit of legislated bans, the whims of consumers and retailers can easily result in some environmentally unsound decision making.
CDS VICTORIA - THE BATTLE CONTINUES...
In Victoria, our focus is building momentum for CDS. Our current aim is to get the major parties to include CDS in their policies prior to the November election.
NATURES ORGANICS: FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
At the end of April, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg announced 'all packaging would be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025'. And while considered an ambitious target by some, Natures Organics CEO Justin Dowel regards the push as farcical!
'It is a joke, to be honest,' he declared. 'Why are talking about 'recyclable?' Most plastics are recyclable! The problem is, we're not recycling most of the plastic. What we need to be doing is setting targets for recycled plastic, not recyclable. There's no point recycling if we have no use for recycled.
BA spoke with Justin Dowel about his family-owned enterprise, manufacturing environmentally sound cosmetic and cleaning brands including Australian Pure, Organic Care and Earth Choice.
JUSTIN FIELD, GREENS: 'NSW ENVIRO PLATFORM A JOKE!'
Hitting the beach with his two year-old son Banjo, NSW Greens MP Justin Field had a horrifying realization. 'I grew up on the beach picking up shells,' he recalls, 'but my son, he picks up plastic. And that is the difference in one generation.'
The Greens NSW member for legislative council, Justin is the spokesperson for fair trade finance, small business, trade, treasury and sport. But ultimately, his passion resides in the health of the marine environment. Taking a square aim at the laughable Berejiklian environmental platform while also lambasting 'disappointing' Malcolm Turnbull, Justin gave his take on Labour's eco promises and the Green's ever-growing parliamentary influence.
WAR ON WASTE: WHAT CAN AUSTRALIA LEARN FROM NORWAY?
Norway is often billed as a guiding light in the international war on plastic waste.
With their container deposit scheme frequently reported as ‘the best in the world’, thanks to an often quoted 97 per cent recycling rate (based on 598, 355, 791 bottles and containers recycled in 2016*) the international community is training their focus on the Scandinavian nation in an attempt to replicate this success.
BA spoke to Atle Hamar, State Secretary for the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment to learn if we can learn something from the land of the midnight sun and the birthplace of TOMRA reverse vending technology
CTC is Coming to WA
After the success of pilot programmes in Noosa, Byron Bay and Wollongong, Boomerang Allliance is bringing our Communities Taking Control across the country to WA
BA vs Thicker Plastic Bags
After the Coles fiasco, legislation surrounding thicker plastic bags (up to 70 microns thick) is more important than ever.
CDS Vic Goes to the Polls
In the run-up to the next Victorian state election in November, Boomerang Alliance is focusing our attentions on getting CDS included on all party agendas.
Words: Stephen Milton Design: Rianti Bieler 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.
Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - Federal Election 2019See all posts
Posted by Rianti Bieler · April 17, 2019 4:55 PM
Rianti Bieler published Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - June 2018 in Newsletter 2018-09-25 10:10:10 +1000
7 Australian States & Territories are banning lightweight shopping bags (we're still working on NSW) and 6 Australian States & Territories are implementing Container Deposit Scheme (we are working on VIC & TAS) but we've still got plenty in our sights...
- CUT THE WRAP - Our new key campaign to stop excessive and unnecessary plastic packaging, particularly on fresh produce - big plans are afoot!
- SINGLE USE-LESS - We are building a network of plastic-free communities through our Communities Taking Control program. Help us drive a phase-out of single-use plastic takeaway items.
- MICROSIZE / MACRO PROBLEM - Help us achieve a national ban on microbeads and take firm action to identify and act on other microplastics, such as synthetic microfibres.
- BAN POLYSTYRENE - We will seek a national ban on the ocean's biggest killer. Polystyrene in the environment breaks up easily into microplastics and contains a known carcinogen - Styrene... only a ban will do!
- KEEP THE PLASTIC BAG BANS HONEST - We will maintain the pressure to stop thicker bags being given away & to include other plastic bags in state bans.
Donate today and together we will stop plastic pollution before it reaches the ocean. Help us to make Australia a ZERO WASTE nation! (every donation $2 and over is tax deductible)Donate
We have only days to defend the ocean around Australia.
Next Friday 27 April 2018, our State and Federal Environment Ministers will meet to discuss crucial issues, including the introduction of a nationwide ban on microbeads.
From personal care to dental hygiene to household cleaning, microbeads are used in an enormous range of products. They slip through our inadequate waste water filtration infrastructure and end up in the ocean. Once there, they act as a sponge for water-borne toxins and are easily mistaken as a food source by unwitting marine life, potentially adding toxins directly to the human food chain.
What’s more, without a national ban, surplus products containing microbeads that have been rejected by other countries could easily make their way to Australia, as manufacturers try to cut their losses. We can’t afford to let Australia become a potential dumping ground for these billions of pieces of microplastic.
Right now, the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, France, Sweden, Taiwan, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands have or will soon introduce bans on microbeads. Australia has no plans to do the same.
Instead the Commonwealth Government is relying on a voluntary phase out but only a national ban will eliminate the problem once and for all.
We need to put the pressure on. We need to protect marine wildlife, we need to protect the ocean. We need to protect our health.
Can you help us by contacting our state environment ministers and making your voice heard?
Rianti Bieler published Campaign Now - Microbeads Action 2018 Thank You Page 2018-04-18 15:19:17 +1000
Thank you for taking action on microbeads! With your help, Australia’s environment ministers will be under no doubt of our communities desire to safeguard our oceans with a ban on microbeads. And every voice counts.
A voluntary phase out of microbeads by Australian industry is not an option. Voluntary action can easily be revoked. We need legal protection for our marine wildlife, our marine environment and consequently, our own health.
Please share this call to action with your family, friends and followers. The more pressure on our state environment ministers, the greater the chance of a nationwide ban on microbeads. Make your voice heard.
We will keep you closely updated on the situation as it progresses.
Rianti Bieler published Campaign Now - Microbeads Action 2018 Append Text in Campaign Now - Microbeads Action 2018 2018-04-18 10:10:20 +1000
To date, Australia's Environment Ministers have favoured voluntary action to phase out the use of microbeads in cosmetics and cleaning products. With the growing, worldwide alarm about plastic pollution and its undoubted impact on Australia's marine life, I urge you to call for the implementation of a legally binding national ban to eliminate those remaining products that still contain trillions of ready-made microplastic microbeads just waiting to be washed down our drains and into our oceans.
I regard industry agreements as an interim step, but in order to ensure that microbeads do not reappear in the future and that all products and businesses are captured, only a binding law passed by the Commonwealth Government will suffice.
The rest of the world is responding to this problem, implementing robust laws to ban the use of microbeads. Australia cannot afford to become a dumping ground for all those non-compliant products that can no longer be sold in other countries and which may find their way here, as one of the only remaining markets into which they can be sold.
At your meeting with other environment ministers on April 27th, I urge you to demand that the Commonwealth Environment Minister agree to pass this important law before the end of 2018.
Thank you for your action to protect our oceans and contribute to a cleaner environment for present and future generations.