Rianti Bieler

  • published SUP phase out SA in Campaigns 2021-12-12 17:45:12 +1100

    SUP phase out South Australia

    The South Australian Government is seeking your views on its plans to expand single use plastic (SUP) bans. In 2021 South Australia banned plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery from use. The Government now plans to bans expanded polystyrene cups, plates and containers and oxo-degradable products in March 2022. It also seeks your views on a whole range of other problem plastics that include coffee cups and lids, other cups, containers,plastic bags and other assorted problem plastics such as cotton bud and balloon sticks.

    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 through this link: https://www.replacethewaste.sa.gov.au/survey

  • Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - December 2021

    December 2021


    Every year brings new challenges, but 2021 brought more than usual with COVID.  Nevertheless, we made some big gains working with our 55 allies and many supporters. 

    The big achievements included bringing the 15 year Container Deposit campaign to a close as the two remaining states - Tasmania and Victoria - introduced their CDS laws.  Also most states and the Commonwealth are in the process of banning a first tranche of single use plastic items.  Notably these two moves are regulatory, leading to real progress compared to the voluntary path preferred by industry.

    We were fully engaged in the push for a much expanded Australian recycling sector through lobbying of government; participation in top-level forums; and media work to expose tardy practices and inadequate policy responses. 

    Our Plastic Free Places program expanded across the nation showing the way for cafes and consumers to switch to avoidance of plastic and reusables. It's great to see the enthusiasm in the community and business.

    We can mark 2021 as the year when the first steps to a circular economy were made, but of course there is so much more to do before this fundamental change in how we treat ''waste'' and the environment becomes a reality.

    We are very thankful for your support and will keep you in touch with our 2022 campaigns.  Wishing you a relaxing and healthy festive season! 

    Jeff Angel

    WHAT'S ON IN 2022

    We have a full year of campaign work planned for 2022.  

    • Quick resolution of the second list of banned single-use items. With SA and Qld leading the way - other states will be encouraged to follow suite.
    • Next year will be critical for the work to mandate the 2025 recycling (70%) and recycled content (50%) targets.  If, as some governments appear to wish, we wait till 2024 for a review, these essential targets will just be extended to later in the decade. 
    • it's a big year for the global plastic treaty. We'll be advocating whatever party wins the federal election, that they pursue ambitious goals.
    • As single use bans come into play - greenwash will likely proliferate. A key instrument will be a reusables standard to benchmark existing and new products.
    • Continue to expand Plastic Free Places with millions more plastic items removed from cafe procurement chains.


    The Boomerang Alliance is calling for the adoption of nationally-binding standards for reusable, compostable and recyclable types of packaging by the end of 2022.



    Our position calls for all carrier bags to be banned from free supply. If a customer has not brought their own bag, they should have to pay for a new one. We do not support voluntary programs by retailers but instead the need for all governments to regulate retail shopping bags.



    The Commonwealth Government is seeking nominations for the next round of Product Stewardship Schemes (2022-3). Have your say by adding your name to our statement or take the survey yourself.


    Unbelievably it’s that time of year again - where did 2021 go? And what a year for plastic pollution! sing-a-long to our plastic-pollution version of the the famous Christmas song


    Working in communities to eliminate single-use takeaway plastic at the source, our program is active in communities across Australia and has eliminated nearly 10 million pieces of single-use plastic!


    Exciting news… On Dec 2nd the Victorian Parliament passed a new law to set up drink bottle and can refunds (CDS) to stop the litter and maximise recycling. At last!

    It's taken many decades of efforts by many local and state groups and the Boomerang Alliance has been proud to work with them for the last 15 years.

    Coke and Lion, through their lobby group VicRecycle ran a cashed up, misleading campaign to reverse the government's chosen approach, but we fought back and the big bottlers were rebutted. Our recommended model ("split responsibility") has been enacted. Victoria will now have a scheme that offers the best pathway to greatly increased recycling (including local processing into new products), preventing the flow of plastic and other containers onto our parks and into the waterways and ocean.

    The government has moved quickly to call for expressions of interest from potential operators of the CDS and it should start by mid-2023.

    A good end to a difficult year. Many thanks for your support!


    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.


  • Plastic Free Places


    Highlights of 2021

    • As at the end of November 2021, there were seven full-scale Plastic Free Places programs in operation - in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton/Livingstone, Adelaide, Perth, Mornington Peninsula and Randwick, as well as four smaller programs in Camberwell and Moreland (Vic), Douglas (Qld) and Port Lincoln (SA). Five of these programs were made possible under a grant from the Commonwealth Government, with the rest being state or local government funded. Our previous program in Byron Bay ended in July 2021.

    • The end of November 2021 totals for the amount of single-use plastic eliminated under the program was just over 9.5 million.


    • In each place, our staff worked directly with food retailers to assist them to eliminate single-use plastic items and replace them with reusable or compostable alternatives. Plastic items counted for elimination were water bottles, takeaway containers/lids, coffee cups/lids, carry bags, straws and foodware (cups, bowls, plates, cutlery etc.).

    • We have been working closely with many state governments to advise on alternatives and to assist food retailers affected by the ban through the process of switching to better alternatives.

    • Our team also developed a program to assist members who want to supercharge the use of reusable coffee cups and takeaway containers within their business. The program was successfully trialled in January in several communities (results here) and continues to be rolled out in our program.

    • We developed (and continue to develop) blogs and guides to assist businesses and events outside our communities.

    • We were commissioned by the Qld Govt to deliver a series of forums in 28 locations across Qld for community organisations to provide information the single-use plastics ban and give advice on alternative options. In all, we presented to over 500 community organisations. Engagement with the local community has always been at the core of the Plastic Free Places program, and we believe that face-to-face interactions are the key to connecting with people and creating and inspiring change!


    What’s new in 2022

    • There will be three more programs added in 2022 (in NT, Tasmania, and Jervis Bay) thanks to funding from the Commonwealth Government. This will see our program extended to all states and territories of Australia.

    • We will be trialling in Cairns a 'reusable hotels' program, which helps hotels eliminate plastics by avoiding them or using reusable alternatives. Part of this includes providing each guest with a reusable water bottle, coffee cup and bag for them to use during their stay, and linking these items with our existing café and water networks. This helps visitors to our communities participate in efforts to reduce single-use.

    • A database of certified compostable items has been collated by our team, which allows for a search by state to show certified compostable ban-compliant alternatives. A database on reuse/avoid alternatives is also being developed. Both of these will form part of a subscription package for councils to be released in early 2022.

    • Working with local councils, we will be offering online options for businesses outside of our communities to access our team for private consultation sessions. The aim of these is to help motivated businesses to find alternatives suitable to them, and ensure they are compliant with relevant state bans.

    For more information on all our programs, visit www.plasticfreeplaces.org


    Back to December 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • What a year for plastic pollution!

    A lot has been happening on the plastic pollution front.

    Bans on single-use plastics (SUPs like foodware, stirrers, straws, plates and bowls) have been implemented in South Australia, ACT and Queensland; are coming soon to Western Australia and Victoria; and became law in NSW just a month ago. We now have the National Plastics Plan and various state plans; and the Federal government is taking a lead in our region by calling for a binding Global Plastics Treaty that covers the whole life cycle of plastics, not just the plastic that ends up in the oceans. Our next targets are the second tranche of SUPs to ban and to eliminate excess packaging.


    The NSW Plastics Action Plan was released in June 2021 with the claim:

    "The proposed actions will allow NSW to become a leader in managing plastics; eliminating harmful plastics, cleaning up plastic pollution and using our knowledge to get the most value out of our plastic resources."

    To achieve these outcomes the NSW Government says it will take action to:

    • introduce new legislation to reduce harmful plastics
    • accelerate the transition to better plastic products
    • support innovation
    • tackle cigarette butt litter

    Under the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041: Stage 1 -2021-2027, NSW has adopted several other relevant targets, including to:

    • phase out problematic and unnecessary plastics by 2025
    • reduce the total waste generated by 10% per person by 2030
    • achieve an average 80% recovery rate of resources from all waste streams by 2030
    • significantly increase the use of recycled content by government and industry
    • reduce plastic litter items by 30% by 2025
    • reduce the overall litter by 60% by 2030
    • triple the plastics recycling rate by 2030
    • mandate FOGO by 2030.

    Given that NSW was falling behind its own previous targets, it has a big job ahead to begin to embrace a circular economy.  The same can be said for all the other states. While they may pass legislation with ''circular economy'' in the title - the real work will involve getting the EPA bureaucracies fully focussed; adequate funding for new reprocessing and recovery facilities; mandatory recycled content requirements; and a wide range of product stewardship programs funded by industry.   


    Lyrics by Lisa Wriley. Vocalist: Peter Hayward

    On the eleventh day of Christmas,

    my "take-away" sent to me
    Eleven cranky Councils
    Ten polluted beaches,
    Nine full up landfills,
    Eight littered roadsides,
    Seven choking birds,
    Six coffee cups,
    Five…. single use plastics,
    Four plastic straws,
    Three plastic bags,
    Two spoons & forks,
    And a sushi sauce fish floating out to sea.

    On the twelfth day of Christmas,
    my re-usables sent to me
    Twelve months Plastic Free
    Eleven Council pledges
    Ten clean beaches,
    Nine healthy rivers,
    Eight sparkling roadsides,
    Seven happy birds,
    Six real coffees,
    Five… re-usable items,
    Four metal straws,
    Three cloth bags,
    Two bamboo utensils,
    And marine creatures thriving in the sea.

    You can still take action by delivering Good SUP, Bad SUP postcards to local cafes and takeaway shops - to either express your gratitude for them switching from single-use plastics to better alternatives, or encourage them with a Be the Change card to make the switch. You can order the cards for a small donation, from the Boomerang Alliance shop.


    Back to December 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • Heavyweight Shopping Bags

    The clock is ticking on heavyweight shopping bags. A number of states are seriously looking at addressing the problems these bags cause. Whilst the major supermarkets estimate that about 80% of their customers bring their own bag - that still leaves 20% who don't. On top of that are the department and non-food retailers who still provide bags, usually for free. The Boomerang Alliance has drafted a position paper and presented this to government. We would like to see it adopted nationally.

    Our position calls for all carrier bags to be banned from free supply. If a customer has not brought their own bag, they should have to pay for a new one. We do not support voluntary actions by retailers but urge all governments to regulate retail shopping bags.

    The goal for any policy must be to encourage reusable bags when shopping. We are now developing, with the National Retail Association, a reusable shopping bag standard. This will mean a bag that can be used multiple times for the same primary purpose (carrying shopping). An international rule of thumb is that a bag needs to be able to complete 125 shopping cycles, a notion we have adopted. Our position also requires that a bag must be able to complete these carrying 10kgs. It should also maximise the use of recycled materials, a minimum 80%, and have a collection service for recycling at the end of its life.

    Current heavyweight bags, usually sold by supermarkets for 15 cents, are not used many multiple times. We have called for these bags to be sold at a minimum $1 to deter habitual use (with profits being donated to community organisations involved in litter and plastic waste campaigns). These bags should be phased out.

    Australia has made tremendous progress on lightweight plastic bags in the last few years and bag litter has been slashed by an estimated 70% (based on QLD Environment Dept figures). Getting rid of other single use bags and making reusable bags commonplace is our next step.

    Read our Position Statement on Heavyweight Bags


    Back to December 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • published Newsletter December 2021 - Standard Practice 2021-12-07 16:24:53 +1100

    Standard Practice

    All Australian Governments have committed to the target of all being packaging either reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025. A good goal, but the problem is that reusable, compostable or recyclable does not mean any package will be actually be reused, composted or recycled! In reality, most plastic packaging ends up as litter or waste in landfill. Latest data indicates that less than 16% of plastic packaging is recovered, and figures for reusables or compostables are unknown (but much worse that recycling).

    What is needed are national, binding, reusable standards for packaging. This would mean that if a package is supplied as reusable, compostable or recyclable it means it has been tested against a standard and will be recovered, composted or reused in practice and at scale. If a product does not meet the criteria it cannot be advertised as a reusable, compostable or recyclable product. It puts greenwashing in the frame.

    One recent example we exposed, is Big W continuing to sell single-use plastic picnic and party plates in Queensland despite a state ban. Big W tried to claim the plates were reusable. If Australia had a standard, Big W would have had to prove their product against this standard. And there was no way they would pass such a test.

    Another concerns manufacturer claims on compostable takeaway items. A compost standard, with the certification displayed must be required. 

    Leaving aside the problem of excessive packaging of fresh food - the limitations of the Australian Recycling Label (ARL) are exposed when a plastic wrapper in Coles and Woolworths can be marked as recyclable, whilst in ALDI it is waste. The difference being that ALDI does not provide a soft plastics collection service. A proper standard would require anything marked recyclable to be recycled, wherever it is bought.

    There are three pertinent standards that should be considered.

    1. Reusables

    The international reusable product standard (ISO 18601:2013) is one early guide. Reusable means designed to reused multiple times for the same primary purpose. It should have systems in place to allow the consumer to reuse or return. Ideally it should be made from sustainably sourced and recycled materials. At the end of its life, a reusable product should be collected and recycled.  We believe an Australian standard will need to update this for modern challenges.

    2. Compostables

    There are two Australian compost standards (AS 5810 Home and AS 4736 Commercial). Products that meet the standard degrade without any toxic residues. All packaging, including non-plastics, should meet one of these standards. They should all display the certification or not be available in the market. The home compost standard is the best and should be common practice. Some items such as coffee cups use a bioplastic lining so they need to be commercially composted. As soon as possible, commercial compostable products should be phased out. As litter in the environment they will not fully degrade. Compostable packaging is made from plant matter, not fossil fuels.

    Note:The Boomerang Alliance backs avoiding or reusing takeaway packaging as the best options. However we recognise that most food outlets are not ready to go exclusively reusable. Non-plastic or certified compostable foodware is promoted as a better transitional alternative to recyclable takeaway foodware.

    3. Recyclable

    Australia has adopted the Australian Recycling Label, which as the name suggests is not a standard but a label. It provides instructions on how to dispose of packaging so it can be recycled. It considers three components - box, wrap and lids and provides advice on whether items are recyclable, conditionally recyclable or not recyclable. It does not mean any of it will be recycled. We need a standard that requires a manufacturer to design packaging for easy recycling, to have effective collection and infrastructure in place and pay for this service to be provided.


    The Boomerang Alliance has called for the adoption of nationally-binding standards for all three types of packaging by the end of 2022. There is no way the 2025 targets will be met without them.


    Back to December 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • published Plastic Bans Move up a Gear in Latest News 2021-12-07 10:58:17 +1100

    Plastic Bans Move up a Gear

    With Queensland and South Australia, announcing consultations on their next stage bans on up to 20 single use plastic items, the race is on to advance more action on plastic pollution.https://www.replacethewaste.sa.gov.au/surveyhttps://e-hub.engagementhub.com.au/single-use-plastics

    Read more

  • published Plastic Bans Move up a Gear in Plastic Pollution 2021-12-07 10:48:43 +1100

  • published Container Refunds now law in VIC in Latest News 2021-12-03 12:25:41 +1100

    Container Refunds now law in VIC

    Last night the Victorian Parliament passed a new law to set up drink bottle and can refunds (CDS) to stop the litter and maximise recycling. At last!

    Read more

  • ABC Breakfast - Big W Flouts QLD Plastic Ban

    In a shocking exercise of corporate irresponsibility, BIG W has continued to sell banned single-use plastics in Queensland. They have greenwashed previous one-off items as "reusable", when the clear intent of the law is to remove them from supermarket shelves - to be replaced with genuinely reusable items.

    Read more

  • Industry Packaging Covenant admits failure on national targets

    Industry based Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) released a major review today but almost all of Australia's key packaging waste and recycling targets are on the path to failure.

    The report is a shocking indictment of the voluntary nature of the targets which are to be met by 2025 and reinforces our call for mandatory targets. This is the only rational response to the revelations that recovery of plastic packaging will miss the 70% goal by a large amount; and recycled content of plastic packaging is 3%, way below the 20% target.

    The bright spots on banning single use plastic items and accelerating recovery of drink containers under Container Deposit Schemes are the direct result of legislation, not APC action. The report repeats more of the same mantra about voluntary action to develop more plans, encourage investment and collective action. These are just words. Government needs to step in to stop the waste, protect the environment and get the packaging industry on the path to quick results.’

    Under the current situation, we’ll get to 2024 and business will seek an extension of time to reach the targets. That would be unacceptable. The Packaging Covenant has missed too many goals and should not be given another chance. We’ll give them credit for admitting failure and being transparent but that must mean they join with us to craft an effective regulatory response now rather than wait till 2025. Last year we issued a Plan B, for this eventuality and it’s time to put it into action. We also note that other countries such as the UK will be imposing a tax on plastic packaging if it has less than 30% recycled content.

  • published TAS Container Refund Scheme in Campaigns 2021-10-28 15:29:44 +1100

    Stop TAS ALP from supporting Coca Cola on Container Refund Scheme

    UPDATE - 10 MARCH 2022

    The Tasmanian Upper House has just passed the Container Refund Bill unamended. This brings to a close our 18 year battle for all of Australia to have Cash4Containers. Coca Cola had a series of amendments that would have stifled the litter and recycling aims - they FAILED.


    UPDATE - 24 FEB 2022

    Media Release: TAS Container Refunds Bill - more delay?


    UPDATE - 7 FEB 2022

    While we ran a successful campaign to stop the ALP/Coke push to have an inquiry into the Container Refund Bill and derail the scheme - the law has still to pass the Upper House (coming up in March 2022). The risk of Coke inspired amendments being put up by the ALP in the first quarter of 2022, remains. Please keep the pressure up on the ALP and message the Leader of the Opposition Rebecca White and the Shadow Minister for Environment Sarah Lovell, to let the Bill pass without amendment.


    UPDATE - 26 NOV 2021

    We are pleased to report that our efforts and your support have prevented Coca Cola from derailing Tasmania's Container Refund Scheme.

    Read the Container Refund Bill - Boomerang Alliance Presentation to Tasmanian Legislative Council

    Late last week the Parliament's Upper House rejected an ALP proposal to undertake an inquiry and open the door to the big bottler's alternative model, which would have negatively impacted efforts to reduce litter and increase recycling.

    The majority of the LegCo members supported the proven ''split responsibility'' model we have advocated and which the government adopted. Debate on the Bill still needs to be completed and we will watching closely for any further efforts to weaken the scheme by amendments inspired by Coke and Lion. 

    We'll keep you in touch with our campaign. Tasmania's bottle and can refunds are almost there!



    The Tasmanian ALP is working with Coca Cola to defer and derail the Container Refund (CRS) law just introduced into Parliament.

    After so many studies, inquiries, petitions and community actions, Tasmania needs to start its CRS (called the ''split responsibility'' model). Yet the ALP want another inquiry via the state’s Upper House and a reassessment of the Coca Cola alternative (called TasRecycle) which has been rejected in Tasmania, Victoria, ACT and NSW, after extensive investigation into how best to maximise recycling and reduce litter and plastic pollution.

    We can't let Coke win. We need your urgent support to tell the ALP to join with the community, not Coke. Below is a letter you can send to the Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Minister for Environment.

    Please act today!

    Further information:

    Regulatory Impact Statement into 2021 Container Refund law

    A dangerous waste of time

    LGAT Statement  (04/02/21)

    Government Statement  (29/10/21)




    You can edit the email subject and add/amend the message. Your email will be sent directly to the Leader of the Opposition Rebecca White and the Shadow Minister for Environment Sarah Lovell.


  • published Wise Up to SUPs in Campaigns 2021-10-27 12:44:22 +1100

    Wise Up to SUPs

    There are things we can all do to reduce our use of Single-Use Plastics (those Bad SUPs) - by simply refusing the items many of us can live without eg plastic straws and sauce sachets or remembering to BYO and choosing to re-use (bags, cups, straws, cutlery etc). Beyond our own actions we can also help bring about change in the community by giving positive feedback to businesses, organisations and individuals who are making an effort and encouraging those who aren't there yet to make the change.

    As always you can also send a message to our Environment Ministers, State and Federal to tell them why you care about single-use plastics and the plastic waste and pollution they contribute to.  Use email, social media and even request an appointment.

    Persistence pays of and you really do make a difference!  If you would like to take action with others consider volunteering with us.





    Are there cafes or restaurants in your local area who have done the right thing and got rid of single-use plastic cutlery/coffee cups/straws/take away containers? Send them Gratitude cards to let them know that their effort hasn't gone unnoticed and is much appreciated. They can stick it on their wall as a badge of honour too!

    The cards come in a pack of 10 or 25 and can be bought from our online store.

    Buy a pack of Gratitude cards | More Information & FAQs


    If your local cafes or restaurants are still using single-use plastic items, why not send them Be the Change cards to encourage them to switch to reusable or compostable alternatives. You can also point them to our Covid-19 Plastic Free Guide which will help them choose the right products. 

    The cards come in a pack of 10 or 25 and can be bought from our online store.

    Buy a pack of Be the Change cards | More Information & FAQs


    SA, QLD, ACT and WA have earned congratulations for getting the ball rolling on SUP phase outs and need to keep up the momentum. NSW finally has released it's Plastic Action Plan and we await legislation.  But VIC, TAS, and NT are still not taking action in phasing out Single-Use Plastics and we need your help to send them a message of encouragement!

    While you're at it, maybe attach a few photos of littered SUPs that you've picked up?

    Use our email template | Find the contact detail of your State Environment Minister







  • published At last! NSW moves on plastic ban in Latest News 2021-10-22 09:21:53 +1100

    At last! NSW moves on plastic ban

    NSW is now starting to catch up with other states with legislation introduced into Parliament this week to ban a range of single use plastic items and it's a welcome move.

    Read more

  • published At last! NSW moves on plastic ban in Plastic Pollution 2021-10-22 09:01:54 +1100

  • published Big W flouts QLD Plastic Ban in Plastic Pollution 2021-10-05 12:02:44 +1100

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