Rianti Bieler

  • published Marine Plastic Treaty in Campaigns 2021-10-05 10:47:09 +1100

    We need an effective Marine Plastic Treaty

    UPDATE: 3 MARCH 2022

    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.

    Fulfillment of the intention to finalise a treaty by 2024 can’t come soon enough. In the interim, jurisdictions like those in Australia should continue to enact strong plastic use and waste reduction laws. An effective treaty is predicted to reduce plastic pollution by 80% by 2040; and virgin plastic use by 55%* - but it is essential nations curb these drivers even faster. Australia is well placed to do this to protect our oceans and health.

    Including production and design in the treaty was crucial. Without this, some could ignore their obligations and affected countries would be condemned to perpetually cleaning up plastic pollution, whilst manufacturers could avoid responsibility for the products they produce.

    The Boomerang Alliance acknowledges the positive role the Commonwealth has played in supporting this week’s treaty developments.

    What we also now need is action that includes providing funding for clean ups in Northern Australia and, through foreign aid assist countries in our region to both clean up and then recycle plastics, often washed ashore from elsewhere.

    We look forward to seeing allocations in the upcoming budget and in the election commitments of the political parties at the next Federal election across a range of measures to combat plastic pollution.

    * https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/speech/leap-forward-environmental-action



    With an estimated 11 million tonnes of plastic waste entering our oceans every year – global, national and local action is vital to stop this. The Boomerang Alliance is working at all three levels and now we have joined the push for a marine plastic treaty.

    Australia, with its vast ocean estate and place in the Indo-Pacific must play an active role.

    The good news is that the Australian Government has announced support for a global treaty and is now consulting key groups about its contents. We need an effective and binding contract and Australia should be a leader in the negotiations and strengthen the voice of Pacific nations. We should aim for zero plastic pollution.

    The Australian position will be finalised over November-January, with the UN meeting in February, 2022.

    We are asking for your help by contacting PM Scott Morrison and Environment Minister, Sussan Ley through their online contact forms.


    You can use the following points and easy links to contact the government:

    • Thank you for supporting a global treaty on marine plastic pollution.

    • We need a treaty with ambitious targets to stop plastic pollution that also provides investment and support for countries without adequate waste prevention and recycling; and is enforceable.

    • I hope that the Australian Government can lead by convincing other nations to join and support an effective treaty that will quickly bring plastic pollution under control.

  • Boag gets it wrong on Container Deposit Scheme

    Claims by James Boag's Brewery that the scheme selected for Tasmania’s container deposit scheme (CDS) on drink containers will lead to higher than necessary prices claimed in the Advocate (16/9/21) are completely wrong.

    Read more

  • published Contact Us 2021-09-02 14:47:10 +1000

    Contact Us

    Tell us what you think about our work.
    Any questions or comments? We'll get back to you as soon as possible.

    The Boomerang Alliance

    PO Box K61
    Haymarket, NSW 1240

    Tel: (02) 9211 5022

    [email protected]


    Media Enquiries

    If you are interested in arranging interviews with Boomerang Alliance spokesperson, please email [email protected]

  • published The Great Plastic Rescue in Latest News 2021-09-01 10:24:04 +1000

    The Great Plastic Rescue

    A solution for Excess Plastics Packaging in Queensland after 1 September 2021

    Queensland ban starts today! From 1 September 2021 these plastic items cannot be supplied by shops and cafes or at public events In Queensland.

    Read more

  • published SUPtember Calendar 2021-09-01 10:06:24 +1000

    SUPtember Calendar


    Start off the month by completing a quick SUP survey about your current habits with Single-Use Plastics. Try and remember to do the SUP Survey again at the end of the month - the link is on 30 SUPtember :) Also get set up for SUPtember by ordering your Good SUP, Bad SUP postcards

    Celebrate Queensland's new SUP ban starting today!


    Pledge to say no to plastic shopping bags, take your re-usables. Make sure you have your re-usable bags in your car boot or in your carry bag. And check out Tim Minchin in all his glory shouting "Take Your Canvas Bag to the Supermarket!!"


    Clean Up Australia is calling on all Australians to Step Up and make a pledge towards reducing their waste contribution. There are so many ways to Step Up! And together we can all be part of the solution. Share your Step Up action by taking a selfie, sharing it and tagging @CleanUpAustralia #StepUptoCleanUp

    Step Up to Clean Up on YouTube

    If you live north of the Tropic of Capricorn, step up and register for The Great Northern Clean Up. It has been an annual event in September since 2009, giving communities north of the Tropic of Capricorn the flexibility to participate in clean up events in the cooler months, after the peak tourist period and prior to the cyclone season.


    SUPport your local bag share group - do you have a Boomerang Bag group near you? Check out the Boomerang Bag shop to support this awesome Australian community group. Short on bags? Order one from Boomerang Bags.

    Featured local bag share group: Lane Cove Sustainability Action Group Bag Share Program


    Paddle NSW is organising paddle-based clean ups at various location across NSW. For more information visit their website or email [email protected]

    For those of you who don't live near a planned clean up paddle, you can Take3 For the Sea - Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere and you have made a difference!


    ReefClean is a project coordinated by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and funded through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust focused on the removal and prevention of marine debris across the Great Barrier Reef. ReefClean connects community members, indigenous rangers, schools, government agencies, local businesses and organisations in addressing one of biggest threats to our oceans. There are many events throughout September so sign up on

    For those of you who don't live near the Great Barrier Reef, have a read how plastics have become a growing threat to coral reefs.


    Straw no more! Pledge to say no to plastic straws - take a re-usable straw if you need one. 


    Find local suppliers of re-usable and paper straws, don't be tricked by oxo-degradable plastic straws!* Here's one example of a paper straw supplier.

    *Oxo-degradable is a conventional plastic mixed with an additive in order to imitate biodegradation. Oxo-degradable plastics quickly fragment into smaller and smaller pieces, called microplastics, but don’t break down at the molecular or polymer level like biodegradable and compostable plastics. The resulting microplastics are left in the environment indefinitely until they eventually fully break down.


    Do you live in or near Manly, NSW? Join us on the 1st and 3rd Saturday’s of the month at 9am (or 10am in winter), for a free community cleanup at Manly Cove. We provide bags and gloves for those who wish to cleanup on the beach, and encourage you to bring swimmers and goggles for a cleanup beneath the surface. Floating debris can be collected by SUP or kayak and our friends at Manly Kayak Centre will happily hire you one. Come dressed for the method of cleanup you prefer! Email [email protected] to register.

    For those of you who don't live in the area, do a Take3 For the Sea - Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere and you have made a difference.


    Pick up any SUP litter today and send a photo to your local state MP and Environment Minister, ie. via email or tag them on Facebook and Twitter. Check our July Newsletter to see which SUPs your state is banning and when. Thank them for taking action and tell them where you found the bad SUP and why it is so important to phase out SUPs in your state ASAP.


    What YOU can do to be exSTRAWdinary! Ask for no straw - Most drinks can be drunk without a straw these days. Plus, it's a great way to start a conversation with your bartender about the impact of plastic straws! BYO reusable straw - You can carry a metal, bamboo or glass straw with you for those occasions when you really want a straw. Chat to venues - As a customer, you have more power than you think. Let your favourite bar or cafe know you'd love for them to stop using plastic straws. You can even visit them with a few Plastic Free Resources to help them get started.


    Talk to your local soccer/netball/footy club about any SUPs they are using. Can you help them find alternatives? (Refer to your research on Tuesday :)

    Follow the example of great local sports clubs like Brunswick junior Football Club.


    Beach Patrol has created a phone app to record the collection of the top 24 SUP items for any group or individual to use called Litter Stopper. Free to download from Apple AppStore and Google Play Store. The person entering the data gets sent a copy of the data as well to a central server. Instructions are on the front page of the app.

    You can see the results of all the collections on the Litter Stopper website with some interesting basic analysis on the View summary page. Download the data from the website too if you wish to use it.


    Pledge to say no to takeaway plastic foodware, eg. trays, cutlery and especially polystyrene. Plan ahead and take your own container and cutlery if you are eating out and use the Good SUP, Bad SUP cards.

    Give local businesses a Good SUP, Bad SUP card to thank or encourage them to switch from bad SUPs to re-usable or compostable alternatives


    Ask your local school to try alternatives to any of the single use plastic items that they use in the canteen or office. Check out the Ocean Friendly Business program run by the Surfrider Foundation - can your local school canteen meet the challenge? 

    Get some good ideas to help your school canteen go plastic free from Plastic Free July.


    Find local suppliers of paper, sugarcane, and other compostable alternatives to plastic foodware items. So Shire have a good page of suppliers to check out. Find out if your Council or a local company offers a Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) service, that accepts certified compostable items with the food scraps.

    Extra challenge: Find out about what the Australian Home Composting Standard and Industrial Composting Standards mean.


    Pick up any SUP litter today and send a photo to your local state MP and Environment Minister, ie. via email or tag them on Facebook and Twitter. Check our July Newsletter to see which SUPs your state is banning and when. Thank them for taking action and tell them where you found the bad SUP and why it is so important to phase out SUPs in your state ASAP.


    Visit your local cafe/restaurant and talk to them about SUPs - If they are bad-SUP-free give them a big thank you! If they are still using bad SUPs encourage them to make the switch to reusables or compostable items. Give them a Good SUP, Bad SUP card - either a Gratitude card or a Be the Change card, available from Boomerang Alliance Online Shop

    Also check our Boomerang Alliance Plastic Free Places program for some guides on how to be a Plastic Free Business.


    Be inspired by Clean Up the World stories.


    Find out about the great national citizen science program AUSMAP. "It’s hard to solve a problem you can’t see. So we’re putting microplastic pollution on the map!"


    Pledge to say no to single use beverage cups and bottled water and take your own reusable cup and bottle. Be inspired by the story of Bundanoon in NSW, the world's first bottled water free town in 2009! Also find out how the Bottled Water Free Town idea came about


    If you haven't got a reusable cup, it's time to get one! A lot of local businesses and councils are selling or even giving away re-usable cups. Or dust off the one in your cupboard and remember to take it when you are out and about. Be assured that washing a re-usable cup is safe. Learn about the "contactless pour" if your local coffee shop is concerned. Find out about Covid-safe coffees.


    Check out if there is a plastic free group active near you and if there isn't one yet consider getting one started. Small groups of people can make a big difference. Together you can encourage your local council to take action and sign up to Plastic Free Places, or start with a trial. Be inspired by groups like SO SHIRE/Plastic Free Sutherland in the Sutherland Shire of NSW (where the Prime Minister lives!) and Seaside Scavenge who are running creative events around the country.


    Pick up any littered coffee cups, lids or other cup rubbish today and send a photo to your local state MP and Environment Minister, ie. via email or tag them on Facebook and Twitter. Check our July Newsletter to see which SUPs your state is banning and when. Thank them for taking action and tell them where you found the bad SUP and why it is so important to phase out SUPs in your state ASAP.


    Have you cashed in your eligible bottles and cans for 10c REFUNDS? Find your nearest collection point, Return and Earn Reverse Vending Machine or automated depot where can take large number of bottles/cans. If you're in Victoria or Tasmania, write to your State Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio (VIC) and Roger Jaensch (TAS) and encourage them to get a wriggle on. They are committed to bringing in a Container Refund System so thank them and tell them why you think it is important. We want a system that maximises recycling, reduces litter and helps charities raise money. Find the link to their contact details on every Friday on the calendar.

    Read about the Cash for Container journey.


    The Clean Up Australia PLOG-A-THON is the perfect way to get out in your local area. Socially responsible, physically distant exercise that leads to a cleaner environment and community - what's not to love?

    The PLOG-A-THON is a great way to burn off energy, get the whole family involved – and raise funds for Clean Up Australia. All participants will pay a $20 registration fee and receive a plogging kit containing gloves, hand sanitiser and bags. As with traditional walk-a-thons and other fun runs, you can register as an individual or join a virtual team, setting targets for fundraising, distance covered and litter collection.


    World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways, every year on the 4th Sunday in September. It highlights the many values of our rivers, strives to increase public awareness, and encourages the improved stewardship of all rivers around the world. Rivers in virtually every country face an array of threats, and only through our active involvement can we ensure their health in the years ahead.

    Be inspired by groups who care for their local river, like the Mudcrabs, the Mullets with the Cooks River and around the world


    Pledge to get out and enjoy and look after our waterways by spreading the word about the importance of not using bad SUPs. We totally encourage you to try good SUPs (Stand-Up Paddleboards if you can) - there are heaps of small businesses giving lessons, hiring SUPs and community groups you can join to get out on the water. Check out where you can paddle in your state or territory and visit their respective websites: Paddle NSW, Paddle VIC, Paddle QLD, Paddle SA, Paddle TAS and Paddle Australia.


    Write to your local paper (snail mail, email or on social media) and your State Environment Minister to tell them what you have done during SUPtember. Send a copy to [email protected] so we can include stories and photos in our Boomerang Alliance newsletter.

    Join with other SUPporters of the Boomerang Alliance in regular actions, letter-writing and consider being a financial supporter if you are able. Maybe you are a Plastic Free Champion? or Zero Waste Hero? Keep up to date with us by signing up to our newsletter.


    Last survey - whether or not you completed the SUP Survey at the start of the month, please complete our quick SUP survey about your current habits with Single-Use Plastics. Have you made any or many changes during the month?

    Every day for 30 days, you will be challenged to take a pledge or a small action to refuse Single Use Plastic items. If you're a busy person, just do what you can, every small action matters!




  • published SUPtember 2021-09-01 00:15:28 +1000


    As part of the Boomerang Alliance Zero Plastic Pollution Campaign, we are celebrating SUPTEMBER again! A whole month dedicated to getting rid of Single Use Plastics by inspiring and mobilising our supporters to take action. 




    Visit our SUPtember Calendar where every day for 30 days, you will be challenged to take a pledge or a small action to refuse Single Use Plastic items.  

    If you're a busy person, just do what you can. Every small action matters!

    Take on the challenge


    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 QLD Plastic Ban Tour 2021 in Latest News 2021-07-29 13:00:25 +1000

    Qld Plastic Ban Tour 2021

    Information sessions for community groups who use disposable single-use packaging to learn how to comply with the QLD Plastic Ban.

    Read more

  • published Balloon Release Ban Petition in Campaigns 2021-07-29 10:23:33 +1000


    What goes up must come down! Let’s stop the release of helium balloons that are harming or killing marine animals and birds.

    While a few states are taking some steps to act - we need the Australian continent and oceans to be fully protected.

    The Boomerang Alliance has prepared an action plan* calling for:

    • laws to prevent the release of helium balloons
    • governments ensuring compliance with those laws
    • restricting the sale of balloon helium at the retail level to registered balloon industry suppliers
    • requiring professional event managers to educate attendees, stop any releases and ensure correct balloon disposal.

    By signing onto the letter below to your Environment Minister – we can convince all state and territory governments to stop this pollution.
    Please support our call for a nationwide ban on helium balloon releases.

    *Check out Boomerang Alliance's action plan

  • Recycle Right Victoria: Say YES to a Clean CDS

    UPDATE: 14 April 2021

    GREAT NEWS: Victoria announces ‘Split Responsibility Model’ Container Deposit Scheme

    We did it!!!

    We are thrilled to inform you that the Victorian government has today confirmed their choice of a “split responsibility” Container Deposit Scheme.

    They’ve listened to the community and rejected the disinformation campaign by the big bottlers, Coke and Lion and their lobby group VicRecyle.

    Our research into the various types of schemes here in Australia and overseas shows that the chosen ‘’split responsibility’’ model (Coordinator and Network Operators) is best practise.

    It sets up the right allocation of responsibilities so that the system can grow, be accountable, accessible and deliver multiple benefits for decades. It’s based on the NSW approach where there has been very significant involvement of charities and small businesses; billions of drink containers returned; and very accessible refund points.

    We’ve been campaigning for Australia to be entirely covered by container deposit schemes and today’s announcement fully achieves this. In fact Australia is the first continent on the planet to do this. There will be remarkable environmental, employment, recycling and charity benefits.

    Today’s announcement is the result of an incredible community effort with 117 organisations signing our open letter and over 51 000 Victorians signing our petition in support of a split responsibly model.

    A big thank you - this would not have happened without your ongoing support!



    #RecycleRightVictoria #StopBigBeverage #SayYesCDS

    For years our community campaigned for a 10c container deposit scheme (CDS) to clean up Victoria’s parks, streets, waterways and ocean, and finally the Victorian government has confirmed it will be introduced by 2023.

    Now, Victoria has a chance to make a real difference to the environment, recycling and jobs with the future CDS — if the right decision about how the scheme will operate is made. The government is due to decide who will control the CDS, and the four-week consultation period with the public is open until 30 November 2020.


    Say yes to a clean CDS

    The choice is clear.

    Coke and XXXX Gold and Powerade want a CDS in VIC as a "community (producer responsibility) model" which means fewer refund points and depots and less opening hours so they can minimise the number of returns and their cost of having to pay 10c to customers and handling fees to recyclers.

    What we want the VIC Government to do is the "split responsibility model" with a sole focus on recycling that prevents big drink company control, to ensure maximum convenience to achieve the biggest number of beverage containers returned and refunds back to consumers, communities and charities.

    The Victorian government says it prefers a split responsibility model but we know the makers of Coke, XXX and Powerade are fighting for their alternative, less effective model and have big pockets to fund their campaign.

    These companies are some of the world’s biggest plastic polluters, and they campaigned relentlessly against the introduction of a CDS in Victoria. They are campaigning to profit from a scheme they never wanted.  

    Check out a comparison between the two models exposing the misinformation being propagated by Coke and friends. 

    As the last mainland state to implement a CDS, Victoria has a chance to learn from the mistakes and successes of the other states.

    We need to recycle right Victoria. Join us in saying yes to a clean CDS. 

    You can do three things to help - sign the petition to stop big beverage controlling the CDS, endorse our open letter (if you're an organisation or community groups) AND send a message to key MPs.




    The CDS will allow Victorians to swap empty cans and bottles for a 10c refund per container. This kind of recycling initiative is already in place in all other mainland states in Australia. We have reviewed the schemes in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales to assess their effectiveness.

    Container deposit schemes also provide much-needed fundraising opportunities for thousands of community groups, sporting clubs and charities, through the collection and returning of containers, management of collection points or donation partner opportunities.

    For more information on how a CDS works read our fact sheet below.




    Boomerang Alliance is actively campaigning for Zero Plastic Pollution


    • To transition to a zero-waste society by leveraging strategic opportunities to drive best practice resource efficiency, recovery and recycling.

    • To eliminate unnecessary and problematic single use plastics from use.

    • To cut 70% of Australia’s contribution to plastic pollution entering the oceans (before 2025).


    1. Policies for Action
    2. Plastic Free Places
    3. Cut the Wrap
    4. Cash for Containers
    5. Reusable Containers

    We would not have been able to do all these works without your support. Please consider making a donation so we can continue our fight against plastic pollution.

  • published Balloon Release Petition - Thank You 2021-07-23 12:36:22 +1000

    Thank you for taking action!

    What goes up must come down!

    Thank you for taking action to ban balloon release in Australia. By sending a letter to your Environment Minister, you are helping to convince your state or territory government to stop this pollution.

    Please share the petition page with your friends and family so they too can support our call for a nationwide ban on helium balloon releases.


  • published The end of plastic collectibles welcomed in Latest News 2021-07-23 08:45:04 +1000

    The end of plastic collectibles welcomed

    Today’s announcement by Coles that it will no longer give out free plastic collectible toys to shoppers is a welcome recognition of their cost in long lasting pollution and consumer concern.

    Read more

  • published Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - July 2021 in Newsletter 2021-07-13 18:21:49 +1000

    Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - July 2021

    July 2021


    It’s been an exciting few months, with state after state announcing bans on polluting single use plastic items. We’ve been on the campaign trail for over five years and the momentum created by BA supporters and the great wellspring of concern in the community has carried us through. To their credit, some key businesses and industry associations have also played a constructive role.

    South Australia, the ACT and soon Queensland will have fully implemented tranche 1 bans this year with Western Australia and NSW following next year. A second tranche of items will be regulated for removal in the two years after that - and by 2025, the supermarket shelves and food service sector will look very different. Check out the full list of single use plastics that are being targeted.

    Our Plastic Free Places program is also expanding and it is giving us an insight into the fake alternatives, that some misguided or mischievous businesses are trying to put onto market. We will be closely monitoring these and preparing reports on the greenwash for government and ACCC action.

    We are taking the fight up to the Australian Packaging Covenant and the packaging sector which is relying on voluntary action to achieve the ambitious 2025 goals, like a 70% recycling rate and 20% recycled content in plastic packaging. The sector has never met its targets since its creation in 1999 and our focus is on making the goals mandatory, so the environment does not need to suffer any more wastage and pollution from weak business action. We have put government and business on notice with our Plan B.

    After a 13 year campaign Australia will be the first continent on the planet to be fully covered by container deposit schemes. We are staying in touch with the Victorian and Tasmanian governments as they develop their CDS legislation to ensure the best practise model is fully actioned. And already the bottle to bottle recycling industry is gearing up with major investments in new reprocessing facilities using the billions of containers collected each year. 

    With your continuing support, our campaigns aim to have:

    • Every state and territory with a best practice container refund scheme and bans on problem single use plastics by 2023.

    • A national phase-out of heavyweight plastics bags and ban on balloon release.

    • Mandatory rules that ensure all packaging that is marked as reusable, compostable or recyclable is actually reused, composted or recycled in practice.

    • Lastly, the Australian Government take a leading role in developing an international treaty to prevent plastic pollution of the oceans and marine environments around the world.

    Jeff Angel

    STATE OF PLAY - Single Use Plastic Phase Out Policies

    Our years of campaigning for single use plastic ban have finally paid off with six out of eight Australian states and territories now committed to ban single-use plastics.



    Boomerang Alliance and our allies have put forward a proposal on how states and territories should address the continued use of heavyweight plastic bags. We have called for new regulations to control ALL shopping carry bags, with a program to eliminate single-use bags in the next 4 years.


    There are many ways to take part in Plastic Free July, with your family, household, workplace, school or faith group. If you are a first time PFJ'er you might try to cut out the top littered single-use plastic items: plastic bags, bottles, straws and coffee cups.


    Having opted for the "split responsibility model" supported by BA, the Tasmanian and Victorian governments are now proceeding to develop legislation and a tender process for the separate Coordinators and Network Operators.


    With great fanfare, the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) launched the Plastic Pact (ANZPAC) – a voluntary program involving Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, where businesses aim to reduce their virgin plastic footprint.


    2021 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for our Plastic Free Places program. We’re heading for 10 million plastic items saved; increasing our focus on reusables; and by early next year we will have projects in ALL states and territories of Australia!


    Exciting news… it is now illegal to deliberately release balloons in Victoria

    This month Victoria's new Environmental Protection Act comes into effect which states deliberately releasing balloons into the environment is now considered to be littering and is therefore illegal in Victoria.

    This is particularly good news for seabirds as balloons are the deadliest form of litter when swallowed by them! (CSIRO 2019). 

    Keep an eye on Zoos Victoria’s Facebook page for a celebratory video this week.


    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.


  • published Newsletter July 2021 - Plastic Free Places 2021-07-13 10:28:33 +1000

    Plastic Free Places

    The issue of single-use plastics is high up the agenda in 2021 with governments all over Australia introducing, or looking to introduce bans on single-use plastics.

    We have been working closely with many state governments to advise on alternatives and to assist food retailers affected by the bans to switch to better alternatives with our Plastic Free Places program. We are also being supported by the Commonwealth Government to create a ‘Plastic Free Beaches’ program, that will see our program extended to all states and territories of Australia. Expect more news soon.

    We have begun the recruitment process for the positions of Plastic Free Beaches Community Coordinator, one in Sydney and one in Perth. If you’re a local in those areas and love the sound of working to create change in your community, it might be the job for you!

    In July, we are embarking on a 4-month Qld Government appointed tour to present the Qld plastic ban (which starts on September 1) to local community groups and show them how they can make switches to their fundraising and community activities. We’re super excited to get back to our road-tripping, having done similar tours in 2017 and 2018 to talk to community groups about the Container Refund Scheme. 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 inspiring change!

    Check out our tour schedule - please share it with anyone you know in Qld who might be interested in attending.

    Lastly, our current programs in Adelaide, Cairns, Townsville, Byron and Rockhampton (a newbie which started in March this year) are all going from strength to strength. This year is seeing an increased focus on reusables and we rolled out a successful trial a few months ago with select cafes all over Australia to help them supercharge use of reusables. This will be offered to all member cafes of the Plastic Free Places program, and we will work with them closely one-on-one over a period of one month to help them create new behaviour changes, both for the cafe and their customers. And for those cafes not in our program, we’ll have an online toolkit - that we’ll be asking all of our followers (i.e. you) to share with your local cafes.

    Thanks for your continued support!


    Back to July 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • State of Play: Single-Use Plastics Ban


    PROPOSED SECOND TRANCHE (expected 2022-24)

    (legislation passed in September 2020 with ban introduced on 1 March 2021)

    • plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery

    • compostable plastic items are included in the ban (for these listed products)
    • expanded polystyrene (eps) cup, bowl, plate and container, listed oxo-degradable products (2022)

    • (after further investigation) takeaway coffee cups, (thick) plastic bags and other food service items

    (legislation passed in March 2021 with ban introduced 1 September 2021)

    • plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls, eps cups and containers, oxo-degradable products

    • compostable plastics and other packaging items certified to the Australian standards (AS 4736/AS 5810) are allowed/exempt from the ban
    • coffee cups/lids, other plastic items and heavyweight plastic bags (after further analysis) - expected in 2022

    • Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy allows for further additions in future

    AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (legislation was passed in March 2021 with ban introduced on 1 July 2021)

    • plastic cutlery, stirrers, expanded polystyrene food and beverage containers

    • compostable plastic items are included in the ban (for these listed products)
    • plastic fruit/vegetable produce bags, oxo-degradable products, plastic straws (expected in 2022)

    • (in longer term) coffee cups and lids, plastic dinnerware, heavyweight plastics bags and cotton ear buds

    • enabling legislation allows for further additions in future

    WESTERN AUSTRALIA (fast-tracked legislation being drafted and expected in 2021)

    • plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and bowls, expanded polystyrene food containers, heavyweight plastic bags, helium balloon releases
    • plastic fruit/vegetable produce bags, microbeads, expanded polystyrene packaging, coffee cups/lids, cotton buds with plastic shafts, oxo-degradable products (expected 2022)

    • Plan for Plastics allows for further additions in future

    VICTORIA (ban to take effect in Feb 2023 after consultation)

    • balloon release is banned from 1 Jul 2021

    • single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, polystyrene food and drink containers, and plastic cotton bud sticks are banned

    • government agencies to ban by Feb 2022
    • awaiting further information

    • government plastics planning allows for further additions in future

    NEW SOUTH WALES (NSW Plastic Plan legislation expected in 2021 with specified bans)

    • lightweight shopping bags banned (6 months after legislation passed)

    • plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, expanded polystyrene food service items, cotton buds with plastic sticks, microbeads in personal care and cosmetics (12 months after legislation passed)
    • plastic bowls and plates, cups, oxo-degradable plastics, fruit stickers, heavyweight plastic bags and produce bags (to be reviewed in 3 years)
    • EPR scheme for cigarette butts

    TASMANIA (future intentions unknown)

    • no bans on identified single use plastics. At recent election in May 2021 State Government committed to a Plastic Plan with legislation to ban yet unidentified plastic items

    • (Hobart City Council has introduced a ban on certain items that includes compostable plastics that meet Australian, US or EU standards)

    NORTHERN TERRITORY (future intentions unknown)

    • no bans on identified single-use plastics. The Territory Government is developing a new Waste Strategy that will include a plan for plastics

    • Darwin City Council banned disposable coffee cups, lids, straws, cutlery, plates, bowls and takeaway containers from use on council land in 2019. This includes the release of helium balloons






    • ban on single use plastic cotton buds, straws, plates, cutlery, stirrers, balloon sticks, oxo-degradable plastics, eps food/beverage containers and cups by 2021
    • compostable items allowed but not considered a solution
    • EPR schemes covering cost of collection, transport, treatment, clean up and education for food containers, packets, wrappers, cups and containers up to 3 litres, plastic bags and fishing gear by 2024

    • EPR scheme for cost of clean-up, education and data gathering for balloons and wet wipes and tobacco products by 2023

    • all beverage containers to have tethered caps (2024) 25% recycled content-PET (2025) 30% all types (2030) 90% collected by 2029

    COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT (from National Plastics Plan 2021 and intended to complement state actions)

    • phase out polystyrene packaging, PVC labels and non-certified compostable packaging in 2022

    • support an international marine plastic agreement to curb global plastic pollution

    • establish government taskforce to examine options to reduce cigarette butt litter

    • establish consistent kerbside collection services by councils
    • require new washing machines to have filters to remove microplastics (by 2030)



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  • Plastic Pact: Not Exciting

    With great fanfare, the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) launched the Plastic Pact (ANZPAC) – a voluntary program involving Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, where businesses aim to reduce their virgin plastic footprint. It largely mirrors the 2025 national plastic packaging targets for recyclable and compostable material; recycled content; and removal of dangerous single use items.

    Really, it’s more of the same from the APC which has failed every previous set of targets since its establishment in 1999. It’s why only 13% of plastic packaging is recycled and just 4% contains recycled content. Boomerang released a Plan B, which sets a deadline for making the targets mandatory by early 2023.

    Many of the big businesses that signed the Pact, focused on the goal of 100% of their plastic materials being (potentially) recyclable or compostable by 2025. But this means nothing if that does not occur in reality with comprehensive collection and reprocessing infrastructure. By enforcing the targets, we might have some confidence the goal of 25% recycled content and 70% actually recycled or composted – will be able to be achieved.

    The only target that will assuredly be met - the phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics items – is entirely due to states passing laws to ban such items – not the voluntary approach!


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  • published Newsletter July 2021 - CDS On the Move 2021-07-12 10:35:48 +1000

    CDS On the Move

    Having opted for the "split responsibility model" supported by BA, the Tasmanian and Victorian governments are now proceeding to develop legislation and a tender process for the separate Coordinators and Network Operators. The split responsibility model separates the management of the scheme from the management of the collection network. This separation ensures that the beverage companies who fund the scheme do not restrain investment in the collection network-thus maximising the container return rate.

    We suspect Coke and Lion will still try to pervert the arrangements for collection so that it mirrors their inadequate model - we are keeping a close eye on developments. However, the draft Tasmanian law is close to the strict split responsibility clauses in the NSW scheme and we are hopeful best practice governance will be achieved. Victoria is a bigger prize for big beverage and they no doubt will have their lawyers crafting loopholes for them.

    Both state schemes will commence over the next two years, resulting in Australia being the first continent on the planet to fully embrace container refunds. Our next targets are to have wine bottles included and improve the market for refillables.


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  • Plastic Free July is here again and it is 10 years old this year!

    "It was started by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz (the founder of the Plastic Free Foundation) and a small team in local government in Western Australia, and is now one of the most influential environmental campaigns in the world. Millions of people across the globe take part every year, with many committing to reducing plastic pollution far beyond the month of July." - excerpt from Plastic Free July website

    We would like to play tribute to Rebecca and her team for their amazing hard work and persistence.  We are very proud that they are one of our 53 allies in the Boomerang Alliance.

    There are many ways to take part in Plastic Free July, with your family, household, workplace, school or faith group. If it is your first time doing PFJ you might try to cut out the top littered single-use plastic items (bad SUPs): plastic bags, bottles, straws and coffee cups or if you are really up for a challenge go further and try to avoid plastic in your shopping trolley, wrapping groceries and bathroom products.

    So much has changed since PFJ started!

    We are now looking at most states and territories having phased out the top bad SUPs in the next two years and more progress by the 2025 national deadline for all packaging to be re-usable, compostable or recyclable. When these changes are implemented we will be taking big strides towards a circular economy – where re-use and refilling becomes the norm and materials stay in circulation and out of landfill.  Keep up the conversation with your friends, families and MP’s about the importance of zero waste. 

    Find out more about the National and State/Territory Plastic Plans:


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  • Heavyweight Plastic Bags in the Firing Line

    In Australia, every State and Territory has or will have a ban on lightweight plastic bags (<35microns) with NSW finally coming on board in 2022. Before these bans were introduced, literally billions of plastic bags were being used and tens of millions littered every year.

    Plastic bag litter has been reducing, for example the Queensland Government reported a 70% decrease in bag litter following its action.

    According to Coles and Woolworths, between 70-85% of their customers bring their own bag when shopping. The bans have created a cultural shift in behaviour.  

    However, a significant minority still rely on buying a thicker, heavyweight plastic bag. These bags usually attract a 15 cent charge. There is little evidence that the demand for these bags is reducing or that they are being used repeatedly for their primary purpose - as a shopping bag. 

    The state and territory governments have recognised the need to address heavyweight plastic bags and are now considering how to deal with them. They remain a litter and a waste problem.

    Boomerang Alliance and our allies have put forward a proposal on how states and territories should address the continued use of heavyweight plastic bags. We have called for new regulations to control ALL shopping carry bags, with a program to eliminate single-use bags in the next 4 years. 

    Our proposals include:

    A ban on the free supply of all plastic bags (any thickness).

    Consider a ban on all single-use shopping carry bags (including plastic, paper, woven or recycled) should be banned from use. This includes so-called degradable or biodegradable bags.

    Where consumers have forgotten to bring a bag, reusable carry bags that meet a Reusable Standard should be available for purchase. The International Reusable Standard ISO 18603:2013 requires that the manufacturer has designed and made the bag to be reusable so that it can be reused multiple times for the same primary purpose. Other conditions such as minimum 80% recycled content and the provision of collection services for damaged bags to be recycled are necessary.

    Thicker, heavyweight carry bags (currently supplied for a small charge by retailers) could be supplied but only at an increased cost designed to deter habitual use. We suggest a minimum $1 with proceeds donated to community groups involved in environmental activities. These bags should be phased out before 2025.

    Retailers should report on the number of reusable and single-use bags used each year. This data to be used in any review on the effectiveness of government policies.

    Exemptions for food takeaway services could be considered where outlets are permitted to provide a paper bag (without handles) when this is needed. Takeaway vendors are encouraged to find better packaging designs that eliminate the need for an additional paper bag.

    Several state and territory governments are considering their options this year, so expect to hear more in coming months.


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