Rianti Bieler

  • Cairns And Townsville Become 'Plastic Free Places' To Try Save The Reef

    The Great Barrier Reef is not only one of the wonders of the natural world, it supports 64,000 jobs in Queensland. But that natural wonder is under serious threat, not just from climate change, but also from plastic pollution.

    Read more

  • Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2019

    September 2019
     
     

    Last week I met the new (federal) Assistant Minister for Waste Minimisation, Trevor Evans along with industry reps to discuss the ban announced by the PM on the export of plastic, glass, tyres and paper.  There's no doubt this is a major policy redirection from the inadequate and time wasting institutional responses seen so far and is the first time waste and recycling have come to the fore for heads of government. 

    We and most of industry are on the same page pushing for - recycled content rules; robust product stewardship for packaging; new investment in local reprocessing; and a ban on single use plastics.  There's still disagreement about waste incineration.  Nevertheless, the potential for state/federal agreement with a meeting of minds amongst active state and federal environment ministers is significant.  Undoubtedly we have a crisis that requires bold and concrete responses.  During the meeting the Minister assured me that they wanted to announce a date for the ban to take effect (possibly legislated) and that meant there must be for the various exported wastes causing pollution and damage overseas, a viable domestic recycling market. 

    South Australia is leading the way building on its already impressive recycling record with a phase out of single use plastics planned for next year.  They are also working with Boomerang Alliance on retail precincts to help businesses adjust to new compostable products or reusables. 

    This is in stark contrast to Victoria which appears set on a landfill/incineration path as it confronts a crisis of its own making - failed regulatory and policy responses that allowed dangerous stockpiles to develop and kerbside recyclate being sent to landfill. And of course that state continues to resist container deposits, even though a CDS will financially support kerbside and deliver clean, high value glass, metal and plastic for new products.   

    Australia's environment ministers will be meeting in early November to agree on an action plan.  There have been false dawns before, but this time there is cause for optimism.  We will be working hard to make sure this is not an opportunity lost.

    Check out our recommendations to ministers here

     

    Jeff Angel
    Director

     
    CAMPAIGNS
     

    CIRCULAR ECONOMY RULES

    Recycling is not just putting materials into the yellow bin – we need to create demand for products made out of those materials otherwise recycling doesn’t work and Councils are faced with stockpiles of materials with no markets. Nobody likes to hear about recyclables going to landfill!


    IS WASTE TO ENERGY A SOLUTION?

    There is robust evidence that waste to energy (WtE) plants will harm future recycling and is likely to produce dangerous air pollution. Mixed waste incinerators are far more complex and dangerous that the more-simple WtE types such as those that use homogenous sources (eg bagass) or anaerobic digestion.


    VICTORIA - ASLEEP ON CDS

    We aren’t sure what will wake Victoria up from its comatose reluctance to agree to a container deposit scheme – but we won’t stop trying. We are planning more local actions – eventually the Victorian government will see the wisdom in introducing cash for containers. 


     PLASTIC FREE PLACES

    Our Plastic Free Places (PFP) program is gathering momentum with the commencement of our fourth community project in Adelaide in August, adding to our work in Noosa, Byron and Perth - with more to come.


    PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP AMENDMENT BILL

    Boomerang Alliance has welcomed the introduction of the Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Plastics) Bill 2019 by the Australian Greens as an important contribution to solving the nation’s plastic recycling crisis and reducing plastic pollution. It is now subject to a Senate Inquiry.

       
     
    Stop Plastic Pollution from Learner & Provisional Driver Plates

    Plastic "L" (Learner) and "P" (Provisional) driver plates can often be seen in NSW on the roadside and in the gutters as they too easily fall off cars. Boomerang is calling on the government to change the requirement for Learner and Provisional plates to only be on the exterior of the the vehicle and to stop distributing low quality plastic plates as many of them end up on the roads only to be washed down the stormwater drains, becoming plastic pollution. ACT only specifies the colour and size; Queensland offers a downloadable template; and SA sells 'see-through plates' for inside the car window.


     
    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.
     

     


  • Stop Plastic Pollution from Learner & Provisional Driver Plates

    Plastic "L" (Learner) and "P" (Provisional) driver plates can often be seen in NSW on the roadside and in the gutters as they too easily fall off cars. Boomerang is calling on the NSW government to change the requirement for Learner and Provisional plates to be on the exterior of the vehicle only; and to stop distributing low quality plastic plates which too often end up on the roads, which are then washed down the stormwater drains, becoming plastic pollution.

    We are confident that the NSW government can offer better options. Even the cardboard L plates issued in the 1980's would be better. Durable plastic that could be passed from Learner Driver to Learner Driver or perhaps come up with a whole new idea such as recycled and recyclable aluminium plates!

    Queensland offers a downloadable template; SA sells 'see-through plates' for inside the car window; ACT,  WA, Tasmania and Victoria simply require: "You must display L-plates so they are clearly visible from the front and back of the car you are driving." Magnetic plates, plate display brackets and plate clips are also available in most states and territories.

    This is an easily preventable form of plastic pollution - and with your support, we look forward to NSW taking action to prevent it.

    THESE ARE ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO LET THE GOVERNMENT KNOW THAT WE WANT THIS PLASTIC POLLUTION STOPPED! 

    1. SIGN OUR PETITION

    Boomerang Alliance is calling on the NSW government to change the requirement for Learner and Provisional plates to be on the exterior of the the vehicle only and to stop distributing low quality plastic plates. Please sign our petition on the right hand side of this page.

    2. POST-A-PLATE

    We encourage you to send any "L" or "P" driver plates that you find to Minister for Customer Service The Hon. Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Transport and Roads The Hon. Andrew Constance MP or Minister for Energy and Environment The Hon. Matt Kean MP, with a note asking for a change in the law that currently requires them to be on the exterior of the vehicle. Below are a couple of sample notes to give you an idea of what to write.

    Wrap the plates in scrap paper, address them, stick on a stamp and send them to:

    The Hon. Victor Dominello, MP
    Minister for Customer Service, NSW Government
    GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY NSW 2001

    The Hon. Matt Kean, MP
    Minister for Energy and Environment, NSW Government
    GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY NSW 2001

    The Hon. Andrew Constance, MP
    Minister for Transport and Roads, NSW Government
    GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY NSW 2001

     

     

    Sample note 1

    Dear Minisiter Dominello,

    Freebie plastic "L" and "P" plates given out at Service NSW locations are creating plastic pollution as they regularly fall off vehicles, onto the road and wash into stormwater drains. Please change the law that requires them to be on the exterior of the vehicle (other states eg. SA allow internal "see through" versions) and RE-THINK the cheap brittle plastic they are made of. We can do better than this.

    Kind regards,
    (name)

    (don't forget to add your return address so that the minister can write back to you)

     

    Sample note 2

    Dear Minister Matt Kean,

    I am sick of seeing lost "L" and "P" plates on the road. They break into lots of little pieces of plastic and wash down the stormwater drains. Please RE-THINK the design of these plates - free "L" plates could be cardboard; "P" plates could be aluminium - totally recyclable! I will keep posting them to you until we get something better in NSW.

    Look forward to hearing of a change.

    Kind regards,
    (name)

    (don't forget to add your return address so that the minister can write back to you)

     


    Information on Learner and Provisional plates display in other states

    State/Territory External only Internal assumed Not specified Materials
    Western Australia     x Printable
    South Australia   x x See-through plates for sale
    Northern Territory     x  
    Tasmania     x  
    Victoria   x    
    New South Wales x     Plastic freebies
    Australian Capital Territory     x  
    Queensland     x Downloadable template

     

    295 signatures

    Boomerang Alliance is calling on the NSW government to change the requirement for Learner and Provisional plates to be on the exterior of the the vehicle only and to stop distributing low quality plastic plates as many of them end up on the roads only to be washed down the stormwater drains, becoming plastic pollution. 

    Add signature




  • Product Stewardship Amendment Bill 2019

    Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2019

     

    Boomerang Alliance has welcomed the introduction of the Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Plastics) Bill 2019 by the Australian Greens as an important contribution to solving the nation’s plastic recycling crisis and reducing plastic pollution. It is now subject to a Senate Inquiry.

    Australia does not have a Product Stewardship Scheme for packaging, one reason why we have such a monumental packaging waste and litter problem. The legislation proposes a mandatory Product Stewardship scheme for packaging and certain single use plastics using reduction targets, design requirements, appropriate labelling and financial contributions from manufacturers to assist collection and litter clean ups.

    The Bill puts the onus back on manufacturers to design for reuse or recycling and support collection. Mandatory reduction targets not only hold the packaging industry to account, ensuring a measurable outcome, it also means that brand manufacturers will reduce their excessive use of plastic packaging. Key elements are:

    • A ban of selected single use plastic products
    • Clear labelling requirements on products
    • Industry responsibility on a range of problematic products through contributing to clean up costs and public awareness
    • A Container deposit scheme in all State and Territories

     

    Back to Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2019


  • Is Waste to Energy a Solution?

    Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2019

    The import ban by a growing number of Asian countries on Australia’s mixed paper and plastics derived from kerbside due to contamination rates has prompted calls from councils, state and federal governments for major investment in waste to energy (WtE) plants. Most states are now developing new policy frameworks. 

    We recently joined with 8 groups to oppose the multiplicity of incineration plants being proposed in Victoria. Once built, such plants demand ongoing access to large volumes of material via long term contracts to remain viable. This can make it extremely costly if a council chooses to opt out and change to a new closed loop system more in keeping with community expectations and economic opportunities.  And over their life produce hundreds of thousands of tonnes of toxic residue.

    Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

     

    Some people are surprised the Boomerang Alliance opposes this push. However there is robust evidence it will harm future recycling and is likely to produce dangerous air pollution.

    Mixed waste incinerators are a far more complex and dangerous that the more-simple WtE types such as those that use homogenous sources (eg bagass) or anaerobic digestion.

    Emissions

    There is no thermal process to capture the embodied energy value of mixed waste that will not create significant pollution and toxic risks. It is not possible to accurately identify the emissions profile of mixed waste and prevent pollution spikes; and we note authorities in the US have found that such waste to energy plants emit significantly more toxins into the atmosphere than coal burning. Emission controls don’t eliminate toxics, just reduce them. Most plants produce a high level of residual ash, which is toxic and needs additional treatment and dedicated storage.

    They also have a greenhouse gas profile equivalent to burning coal (US EPA 2014).

    Cannibalising resources

    WtE plants require 'reliable waste volumes' over long periods to justify investment, consequently locking up (and using only once) resources that could be repeatedly recycled in the circular economy. Advocates refer to the waste in the red bin as the main source, but the majority is in fact, recyclable. Despite efforts by the Victorian government to portray WtE as part of the circular economy – it is recognised by the EU and others that this is not the case.

    Inappropriate metrics

    Waste to energy proponents tend to focus on ‘diversion from landfill’ as the key metric when the central target for a waste strategy in the 21st century is recycling of recovered waste. The diversion focus is essentially greenwashing.

    Check out the joint groups' letter to the Victorian government and councils.

     

    Back to Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2019


  • Several states take up Plastic Free Places

    Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2019

    Our Plastic Free Places (PFP) program is gathering momentum with the commencement of our fourth community project in Adelaide in August, adding to our work in Noosa, Byron and Perth - with more to come.

    The proven program works directly with food retailers, markets and events to assist the switch away from single-use plastics to better alternatives. It is highly successful in overcoming barriers in the procurement and financial case areas that businesses often come up against when trying to transition to reusable or compostable alternatives. Our aim is not to have the PFP program in every council area but rather to show it is practical to ban key plastic items because business and consumers can easily adapt.

    In Adelaide, PFP is being used as a precursor to a statewide ban, and is the first one to adopt our new 'precinct' model, which will see us working with retailers in specific areas, including Surf Lifesaving Clubs South Australia and the Adelaide Central Market.

    Our longest operating program in Noosa has now eliminated a minimum of 3 million single-use plastic items in 18 months! Also we have just issued the Plastic Free Event Guide for councils. Check out our new website for the latest updates from our communities, as well as how your area can become a Plastic Free Place.

    Visit www.plasticfreeplaces.org

     

    Back to Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2019


  • Circular Economy Rules

    Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2019

    Image by Shirley Hirst from Pixabay

    Boomerang Alliance considers the following actions to offer a good guide to achieving a circular economy:

    • Prioritise the use of renewable, non-toxic and sustainable materials in manufacturing, whilst minimising resource use
    • Design products for post-consumer re-use or recycling
    • Maximise product lifespans through maintenance and repair
    • Manage discarded products so that they are efficiently collected for re-use or recycling.
    • Discarded products should be managed to achieve their highest resource value
    • Collaborate throughout the product supply chain to maximise resource value, jobs and business opportunities in collection and resource recovery
    • Educate consumers on the value of finite resources and the need to retain these in the economy, and specifically about best practice procurement and discard behaviour to achieve a circular economy


    Buy Australian Recycled stuff – the real solution

    Recycling is not just putting materials into the yellow bin – we need to create demand for products made out of those materials otherwise recycling doesn’t work and Councils are faced with stockpiles of materials with no markets. Nobody likes to hear about recyclables going to landfill! But with the collapse of the export market, that’s where they will go – or to dangerous waste to energy.

    Buy Australian Recycled Procurement policies should be mandated at federal, state and local levels and for packaging. Environment ministers are discussing a 30% recycled content requirement by 2025 – but that should be a minimum – already some products are 100%.

    Stay tuned for more actions in the Buy Recycled campaign. Help us by sending in the name and photo of your favourite thing made of recycled content or worst example of wasteful packaging without recycled content to: lisa.wriley@boomerangalliance.org.au. Also tell us where you bought it.

     

    Back to Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2019


  • published Council Plastic Free Event Guide Released in Latest 2019-07-22 11:58:19 +1000

    Council Plastic Free Event Guide Released

    The Boomerang Alliance has released a comprehensive  guide (The Boomerang Alliance Plastic Free Council Event Guide) to provide councils with advice on how to reduce plastic use as part of tackling plastic pollution.

    The guide is also available to any event organisers who wish to adopt plastic-free policies.

    The Guide is based on practical experience and intended to assist councils to adopt policies to manage single-use plastic phase-outs from their events. Or, for councils who have already adopted plastic free event policies, additional ideas to go further.  It is endorsed by the Queensland Local Government Association and Minister for Environment.                                                                        

    'Plastic coffee cups/lids, straws, bags, cups and food containers,  cutlery and water bottles are routinely used at public events and are also amongst the most common litter items,' said Toby Hutcheon, QLD Manager of the Boomerang Alliance.

    'Events are controlled spaces so by eliminating the use of these single use plastics in favour of reusable or 100% compostable items, events can reduce their plastic footprint and slash their plastic waste.'

    'Eliminating the use of these plastic products is an important way to achieve less litter to waterways and the ocean, less wasted resources and reductions in fossil fuel use.'

    The Boomerang Alliance's successful Plastic Free Places (Noosa) Project, funded by the Queensland State Government, Tourism Noosa and Noosa Council has shown what a difference going plastic-free can make. In the last 12 months, the project has eliminated over 3 million single-use plastic items in cafes and at events.

    Major events, such as the Noosa Triathlon 2018 removed 180,000 plastic cups from use. The Noosa Food and Wine Festival 2019 went plastic-free and sent 1.3 tonnes of discarded food and food ware to a commercial composter, and not to landfill.

    'With the National Waste Policy establishing targets for all packaging to be reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025, and the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) seeking to have 70% of all packaging either composted or recycled by 2025, the time is right for events to demonstrate that packaging and other event items, can be reused or composted rather than  landfilled,' said Hutcheon.

    'We are grateful for the assistance of Noosa businesses, community and Council and the support of the LGAQ and Queensland Government in developing the program.'

     

    Key Features promoted for a Plastic Free Event:

    • Events are promoted as plastic free to build public awareness
    • All vendors provide only reusable or 100% compostable food ware
    • Events utilise a refillable cup system at bars and drink outlets
    • No helium balloon releases are allowed at the event
    • Event organisers are encouraged to provide water refill stations to limit plastic water bottles
    • Discarded wastes are collected so they can be recycled or composted rather than landfilled
    • Organisers take a continuous improvement approach to reducing plastic wastes. What they can’t do this time, they will arrange next time

     

     

    The guide and support information on plastic free events is available on the  Boomerang Alliance website: www.plasticfreeplaces.org



  • BA Victorian Campaigner Dr Annett Finger on 3AW Drive

    Surely the obvious solution for councils if they want to reduce the amount of rubbish collection is Container Deposit Scheme? Boomerang Alliance campaigner in Victoria, Dr Annett Finger spoke with Nick McCallum on 3AW Drive

    Read more

  • published Federal Election 2019 2019-05-06 15:24:29 +1000

    Less Waste. Less Plastic. More Solutions.

    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
     
    > Follow Boomerang Alliance Federal Election 2019 Blog

    > View the Federal Election 2019 Resources page

     

    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.

    Read the full statement



     

    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.

    Read the full statement



     

    The Greens will invest $500 million over five years into infrastructure and programs to reboot recycling.

    Read the full statement

     

    Authorised by Jeff Angel, Director, Boomerang Alliance, 99 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, NSW 1240

     


     



  • published Federal Election 2019 Blog in Latest 2019-04-17 12:47:19 +1000


  • published Federal Election 2019 in Resources 2019-03-26 17:53:37 +1100

  • ....On the TWELFTH day of Christmas, Time to get creative

    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.

     

    CHRISTMAS BUNTING

    Deck the halls with our festive prints. Print them out and simply fashion into any shape you fancy.

     

    ORIGAMI PAPER CHRISTMAS TREE

    Download the .pdf for easy-to-follow steps to create your own

     

    CONICAL CHRISTMAS TREE

    Download the .pdf instruction to turn your old magazines into something magical.

     


    FACT: Some Australian councils reckon Christmas waste increases by more than 1,000 tonnes between December and January

     

    Go back to 12 days of plastic-free Christmas  >

     


  • ....On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas.. Save money on postage!

    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.

    With a huge selection from Paperlesspost and Smilebox, you can even design your own and upload photos for that personal touch.

    FACT: Each Christmas season over 100 million cards are consumed within Australia alone… wiping out over 200,000 trees.

     

    Go back to 12 days of plastic-free Christmas  >

     


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