Rianti Bieler published Plastic Free Places Removes 11 Million Pieces of Single Use Plastics in Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - March 2022 2022-03-29 16:24:08 +1100
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
Rianti Bieler published Time to Phase Out Single Use Takeaway Packaging in Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - March 2022 2022-03-29 15:37:58 +1100
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. Yet when we talk to most people they either have a reusable water bottle or their own BYO coffee cup. And those who don’t are usually aware that they should have. So, what's stopping us switching to reusables and making this common practice?
The answer is the easy access to single-use cups and containers at food and drink takeaways or the supermarket.
One lesson from recent bans on lightweight plastics bags is that if we remove the supply of such bags and provide a reusable alternative, most people will change their behaviour. Could this be an option for takeaway food and drink?
Why not introduce a phase-out plan for all single use takeaway packaging? Given enough time and notice, we certainly have the ability to bring in new systems and services and change our behaviour to make reusables commonplace. It’s a logical end game to solve our plastic litter problems.
Such a suggestion may take policy makers some time to grasp, but it makes sense. In the meantime, what we need to do is to build on the community’s desire to reuse their cups, containers, and other utensils by giving more opportunities to do just that. The most obvious first steps are with ourselves.
We know that people are much more likely to adopt a behaviour if we think others are doing it too. Modelling positive behaviour to others by using our reusable water bottles and BYO cups encourages others to do the same. If we can normalise the use of reusables, more people will adopt them.
Some cafes are still refusing to accept BYO cups, despite the fact that no state or territory government bans this activity on health grounds. Making a polite point at these cafes can change their minds. There is nothing like a customer or committed citizen to show the way. According to the World Health Organisation, there is no evidence that COVID is even transmitted through packaging.
Supermarkets could be doing a lot more for their customers by providing reusable cup/container services. This is becoming increasingly commonplace in Europe, where reusable containers for delicatessen produce, for example, are available. Under these services, customers return their containers and are provided with a clean replacement, which they return on their next trip. No more single use plastics for these goods. On-line supermarket delivery services could also start using returnable boxes, not plastic bags.
There are no food safety restrictions preventing this, so if your local supermarket does not allow reusable containers, why not ask them to introduce their own service?
And what about drink containers? We now have a container scheme in most states and territories (with Victoria and Tasmania set for 2023). It makes sense to look at introducing reusable bottle collections into these schemes. In Germany, for example, over 50% of glass bottles are reusable/refillable and most returned through their container deposit scheme.
The packaging industry have a goal of having 10% of packaging reusable. This is more of a wish, without any clear or practical strategies on how it will be achieved. Setting a date for phasing out single-use takeaway, promoting reusable container services in retail and having container deposit schemes able to collect refillable containers are the next necessary actions.
Reusable/Refillable use by country
*APCO Collective Impact Report 2021
Rianti Bieler published Container Refund Law Wins in Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - March 2022 2022-03-29 13:18:33 +1100
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 (CDS). This is about to happen!
It’s been a very long battle from the early 1970s when South Australia was the only state to keep returnable bottles. Several cycles of campaigning occurred before the Boomerang Alliance was established in 2003. But the community kept trying and after the Northern Territory CDS began in 2012, it was while before New South Wales finally made the move in 2017. This opened the gate to all the other states. We have had to fight the well funded opposition by big beverage such as Coke and Lion in every state.
Early March 2022 saw the Tasmanian Parliament pass its CRS Act (Coke made a last ditch effort to stymie the Bill) and it now joins Victoria planning to introduce the scheme in 2023. All the other states have operational CDS (with varying degrees of success). As we predicted, new reprocessing plants are being built supplied by the clean CDS material and recycled content in plastic and glass bottles is growing. Several thousand new jobs have been created and in excess of $55mill raised by charities.
So what’s next?
We have three tasks:
- Review each scheme to ensure it is operating at peak efficiency and consumer convenience.
- Add more eligible containers to include wine and spirits and even non-beverage containers. There is a growing demand amongst a variety of stakeholders and state governments.
- Increase the refund to 20c. This is a key to achieving 90%+ recovery.
There is no doubt that the CDS is Australia’s first big move into the circular economy and we can build on its success.
Rianti Bieler published Federal Election - Push for Policies in Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - March 2022 2022-03-29 12:41:38 +1100
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. Three key asks are:
Sign the proposed international treaty on Marine Plastics
The good news is that 174 countries recently supported the development of this treaty. We have advocated for it to be in place by 2024 and enforceable with plastic reduction targets and targeting the entire plastic life cycle. The Australian Government should also provide funding to neighbouring countries to enable them to collect plastic litter, and importantly, have community industries that can recycle the plastic.
Introduce a mandatory Product Stewardship Scheme for Packaging
Much of the reason we have so much packaging, waste and litter is because industry promises to improve, are voluntary and not delivered. What we seek are mandatory targets to achieve the clear 2025 goals of the National Waste Plan with manufacturers responsible for making this happen. These targets include phasing out problem plastics; having most discarded plastics composted or recycled; and rules for recycled content. It’s an indictment on the voluntary approach that only 16% of plastic packaging is actually recycled.
Set National Standards for reusable, compostable and recyclable packaging
Did you know that labels claiming packaging is reusable, compostable, or recyclable does not mean these items are actually recovered - only that they potentially could be? We are seeking clear standards and labels on all of these packaging products that mean what they say; that is, the package is designed to be recovered and will have accessible collection followed by recovery for composting, recycling or reuse.
Prior to the election we will send an advisory of what the parties have told us.
Rianti Bieler published All Plastic Bags in the Firing Line in Latest News 2022-03-21 16:00:11 +1100
The move by Woolworths to remove its 15c heavier weight bags from its WA stores is the welcome outcome of Western Australia’s advanced Plastic Plan.Read more
- Feb 2017 - What is Cash for Containers?
- Feb 2017 - Victorian Cash For Containers - A Toolkit
- Oct 2016 - Proposed amendments to NSW Container Deposit Scheme Legislation
- Oct 2016 - The Retailer’s Role in a World’s Best CDS
- Sep 2016 - Review of proposed NSW CDS and Legislation
- Feb 2016 - Comparison of proposed CDS models
- May 2021 - What's the Plan B for packaging?
- Nov 2020 - NSW - Act now on plastic pollution
- Jun 2017 - Communities Taking Control - Reducing your Plastic Footprint (Noosa)
- Nov 2016 - The toxic tide of plastic in australian waters and how to solve it
- Feb 2016 - Position on Plastic Bag Packaging
- Dec 2015 - Let's put an end to marine plastic pollution - Presentation
- Nov 2015 - Plastic does not go away - infographics
- Aug 2015 - Time to say no plastic bags in NSW - Flyer
- Aug 2015 - Light weight plastic bag - Briefing note
- Dec 2018 - Return and earn - has it worked?
- Jun 2018 - Summary Report of the Big Bottle Tour - For a Victorian CDS, presented to the Leader of the Opposition in Victoria, The Hon. Matthew Guy
- Jun 2018 - Summary Report of the Big Bottle Tour - For a Victorian CDS, presented to the Premier of Victoria, The Hon. Daniel Andrews
- Nov 2015 - CDS Summary
- Sep 2015 - How a CDS works
- Jun 2015 - Queensland's plastic pollution crisis
- Apr 2015 - NSW CDS - Business Stakeholder Briefing
- Aug 2014 - Prices, jobs and household impacts of a container deposit scheme
- May 2013 - What a Waste : Rubbish in the NSW Environment
- Mar 2013 - Common Position Paper on CDS
- Jan 2013 - Independent Review: The Northern Territory Container Deposit System
- Aug 2012 - Beverage company pricing behaviour under the SA and NT CDS
- Jun 2012 - The Boomerang Model: Value adding to a traditional Container Deposit Approach
- Mar 2012 - Review & Analysis: Packaging Impacts Consultation RIS
- May 2011 - Turning Rubbish Into Community Money - Vic Greens
- Sep 2008 - EPHC Mid-Term Review of the National Packaging Covenant: Lessons for the Future
- Apr 2008 - Management of Australia’s waste streams and the Drink Container Recycling Bill
- Mar 2008 - Container Deposits: The common sense approach towards a zero waste society
- Nov 2004 - National Packaging Convenant: Say no to the waste club
- Mar 2020 - BA Guide to sustainable takeaway/delivery packaging (and tips to reduce costs)
- Aug 2019 - Re: Waste, recycling and plastic pollution issues at next Ministers of Environment Meeting
- Apr 2017 - Submission on the draft Commonwealth Threat Abatement Plan (TAP) for the Impacts of Marine Debris on Vertebrate Marine Life
- Feb 2017 - Submission on Implementing a Lightweight Plastic Shopping Bag Ban in Queensland
- Nov 2016 - Threat Abatement Plan: Marine Plastic Pollution
- Oct 2016 - Understanding the Economic Benefits and Costs of Controlling Marine Debris in the APEC Region
- Sep 2016 - Amendment to Biodegradable Plastics Suitable for Composting
- Sep 2016 - Biodegradable Plastics Suitable for Composting
- Sep 2016 - UNEP Biodegradable Plastics and Marine Litter
- Sep 2016 - Valuing Plastic
- Aug 2016 - Microplastics in the Marine Environment
- Aug 2016 - Sources of Microplastics relevant to marine protection in Germany
- Aug 2016 - GESAMP Microplastics in the Marine Environment
- Aug 2016 - Sources of microplastic-pollution to the marine environment
- Aug 2016 - Understanding the types, sources and at-sea distribution of marine debris in Australia Waters
- Apr 2016 - Toxic tide: the threat of marine plastic pollution in Australia
- Apr 2016 - Extracts from Senate report on plastic pollution
- Oct 2015 - Submission into Senate Inquiry on the Threat of Marine Plastic
- Jun 2015 - Queensland's plastic pollution crisis
- Sep 2020 - Victoria Waste and recycling legislation and governance - Options Paper
- Dec 2019 - Brief on Refillables and Reusables
- Aug 2019 - Submission on Energy from Waste Discussion Paper
- Aug 2019 - Submission to the Circular Economy Issues Paper
- Dec 2009 - NRI Stakeholders Summit – It time to tell government what we expect
- Feb 2005 - Extended Producer Opportunity
- Jul 2009 - Regulatory Impact Statement For Televisions And Computers
- Jan 2009 - Tipping point: Australia's e-waste crisis
- Jun 2007 - Busted! The 'mobile muster' myth exposed
- Mar 2022 - Tyre Life: The Comprehensive Guide to Managing Australian Tyres (updated version)
- May 2014 - Michelin – They sell rubber not performance!
- Oct 2009 - Parliamentary Briefing - Benefits of Tyre Recycling
Rianti Bieler published Plastic Pollution Treaty takes a big step in Latest News 2022-03-07 12:23:18 +1100
The 174 nations including Australia get a big tick for agreeing to develop a global plastic pollution treaty. The resolution coming out of negotiations in Nairobi has now established the framework of a binding treaty, that will address the full lifecycle of plastic including production and design as well as waste and pollution. This is a set-back for the fossil fuel sector who wanted to limit agreements to waste and litter issues, but who will no doubt continue their lobbying.Read more
Rianti Bieler published Plastic Pollution Treaty takes a big step in Plastic Pollution 2022-03-07 12:08:05 +1100
Rianti Bieler published Policy Recommendations: SA Election March 2022 in Latest News 2022-03-07 10:23:24 +1100
South Australians go to the polls on 19 March. The Boomerang Alliance have called on all political parties to support an expansion of the container deposit scheme to include wine and spirit bottles, to ban further single use plastics and promote reusable cups and containers.
Rianti Bieler published Tas Container Refunds Bill – more delay? in Latest News 2022-02-24 14:15:18 +1100
Environment groups are urging that the forthcoming debate on Tasmania’s drink container refund law progress rapidly through the State Parliament and not suffer further delays.Read more
Rianti Bieler published Tas Container Refunds Bill – more delay? in Cash For Containers 2022-02-24 13:24:02 +1100
Rianti Bieler published Wine Bottlers should join Container Refund Schemes in Latest News 2022-02-21 16:10:24 +1100
Wine and spirits bottlers should join the container refund by the beginning of 2023. Frankly it is an embarrassment that they are not already part of the very successful 10cent refund program. The South Australian wine sector seems to be particularly opposed. Their environmental reputation is rightly being questioned – it will become a consumer negative with a possible call for boycotts if they don't join up.Read more
Rianti Bieler published Wine Bottlers should join Container Refund Schemes in Cash For Containers 2022-02-21 14:21:46 +1100
22 Dec 2022 - The Impacts of Plastic Pollution in Australia’s Oceans and Waterways
Boomerang Alliance submitted a joint submission to House of Representatives Standing Committee Inquiry into the impacts of plastic pollution in Australia’s oceans and waterways with Total Environment Centre and AUSMAP.
- Download Boomerang Alliance submission to the Inquiry Into the Impacts of Plastic Pollution in Australia's Oceans and Waterways
13 May 2022 - Victoria's Single Use Plastic Ban Draft Regulations
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. The Victorian government is now seeking feedback on the draft Regulations and the Regulatory Impact Statement.
15 Feb 2022 - Turning the Tide: The Future of Single Use Plastics in South Australia
South Australia is planning to ban more plastic items adding to the ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery, soon to be expanded to polystyrene cups and containers and oxo-degradable products in March 2022. The SA Government is now seeking views on items including coffee cups and lids, plastic cups and lids, produce bags, bread tags, and confetti.
- Download Boomerang Alliance submission to Turning the Tide: The Future of Single Use Plastics in South Australia
- Download Boomerang Alliance position statement on heavyweight bags
14 Feb 2022 - Northern Territory Circular Economy Strategy
In our submission on the Northern Territory Draft Circular Economy Strategy 2022-27, the Boomerang Alliance has welcomed the NT Government seeking to develop a circular economy on waste and resource recovery. We remain concerned that the NT having acted earlier than most other Australian jurisdictions on a container deposit scheme and plastic bags, has still not acted on other single use plastics. We have urged the NT Government to introduce bans on problem single use takeaway plastic packaging as soon as possible.
- Download Boomerang Alliance submission to NT Circular Economy Strategy
- Download Boomerang Alliance circular economy policy
- Download Boomerang Alliance position statement on heavyweight bags
28 Jan 2022 - Queensland Single-Use Plastics Ban Expansion
In 2021 Queensland banned plastic straws, stirrers,cutlery, bowls and plates and expanded polystyrene cups and containers. The government now proposes to expand upon that list by adding plastic cups and lids, coffee cups and lids,heavy duty plastic bags, cotton bud and balloons sticks, microbeads, bread bag tags, EPS meat trays, plastic wraps on newspapers and loose polystyrene packaging. The government also seeks views on adding plastic takeaway containers, balloons, bait bags and sauce/condiment sachets.
27 Oct 2021 - Draft Standard DR AS/NZS 5328, Flushable Products
The toilet is not a bin and the most important question should not be "can it be flushed?" or "is it flushable?" but "SHOULD it be flushed?"
The Queensland Government is seeking your views on its proposed single use plastic items ban. Deadline is 28 Jan 2022.Read more
The Queensland Government is seeking your views on its proposed single use plastic items ban. In 2021 Queensland banned plastic straws, stirrers,cutlery, bowls and plates and expanded polystyrene cups and containers. The government now proposes to expand upon that list by adding plastic cups and lids, coffee cups and lids,heavy duty plastic bags, cotton bud and balloons sticks, microbeads, bread bag tags, EPS meat trays, plastic wraps on newspapers and loose polystyrene packaging
The government also seeks views on adding plastic takeaway containers, balloons, bait bags and sauce/condiment sachets.
The simple answer to whether these items should be added to a ban is YES and as soon as practical in 2022. All of these items have preferred alternatives
You can have your say by completing a survey through this link: https://e-hub.engagementhub.com.au/single-use-plastics