Rianti Bieler published Parliament Can Act on Solutions to Harmful Plastics and Packaging in Plastic Pollution 2019-09-19 10:12:38 +1000
Rianti Bieler published Newsletter September 2019 - Product Stewardship Amendment Bill 2019 2019-09-18 11:54:08 +1000
Boomerang Alliance has welcomed the introduction of the Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Plastics) Bill 2019 by the Australian Greens as an important contribution to solving the nation’s plastic recycling crisis and reducing plastic pollution. It is now subject to a Senate Inquiry.
Australia does not have a Product Stewardship Scheme for packaging, one reason why we have such a monumental packaging waste and litter problem. The legislation proposes a mandatory Product Stewardship scheme for packaging and certain single use plastics using reduction targets, design requirements, appropriate labelling and financial contributions from manufacturers to assist collection and litter clean ups.
The Bill puts the onus back on manufacturers to design for reuse or recycling and support collection. Mandatory reduction targets not only hold the packaging industry to account, ensuring a measurable outcome, it also means that brand manufacturers will reduce their excessive use of plastic packaging. Key elements are:
- A ban of selected single use plastic products
- Clear labelling requirements on products
- Industry responsibility on a range of problematic products through contributing to clean up costs and public awareness
- A Container deposit scheme in all State and Territories
Rianti Bieler published Newsletter September 2019 - Is Waste to Energy a Solution? 2019-09-17 14:25:43 +1000
The import ban by a growing number of Asian countries on Australia’s mixed paper and plastics derived from kerbside due to contamination rates has prompted calls from councils, state and federal governments for major investment in waste to energy (WtE) plants. Most states are now developing new policy frameworks.
We recently joined with 8 groups to oppose the multiplicity of incineration plants being proposed in Victoria. Once built, such plants demand ongoing access to large volumes of material via long term contracts to remain viable. This can make it extremely costly if a council chooses to opt out and change to a new closed loop system more in keeping with community expectations and economic opportunities. And over their life produce hundreds of thousands of tonnes of toxic residue.
Some people are surprised the Boomerang Alliance opposes this push. However there is robust evidence it will harm future recycling and is likely to produce dangerous air pollution.
Mixed waste incinerators are a far more complex and dangerous that the more-simple WtE types such as those that use homogenous sources (eg bagass) or anaerobic digestion.
There is no thermal process to capture the embodied energy value of mixed waste that will not create significant pollution and toxic risks. It is not possible to accurately identify the emissions profile of mixed waste and prevent pollution spikes; and we note authorities in the US have found that such waste to energy plants emit significantly more toxins into the atmosphere than coal burning. Emission controls don’t eliminate toxics, just reduce them. Most plants produce a high level of residual ash, which is toxic and needs additional treatment and dedicated storage.
They also have a greenhouse gas profile equivalent to burning coal (US EPA 2014).
WtE plants require 'reliable waste volumes' over long periods to justify investment, consequently locking up (and using only once) resources that could be repeatedly recycled in the circular economy. Advocates refer to the waste in the red bin as the main source, but the majority is in fact, recyclable. Despite efforts by the Victorian government to portray WtE as part of the circular economy – it is recognised by the EU and others that this is not the case.
Waste to energy proponents tend to focus on ‘diversion from landfill’ as the key metric when the central target for a waste strategy in the 21st century is recycling of recovered waste. The diversion focus is essentially greenwashing.
Check out the joint groups' letter to the Victorian government and councils.
Rianti Bieler published Newsletter September 2019 - Several states take up Plastic Free Places 2019-09-17 13:55:48 +1000
Our Plastic Free Places (PFP) program is gathering momentum with the commencement of our fourth community project in Adelaide in August, adding to our work in Noosa, Byron and Perth - with more to come.
The proven program works directly with food retailers, markets and events to assist the switch away from single-use plastics to better alternatives. It is highly successful in overcoming barriers in the procurement and financial case areas that businesses often come up against when trying to transition to reusable or compostable alternatives. Our aim is not to have the PFP program in every council area but rather to show it is practical to ban key plastic items because business and consumers can easily adapt.
In Adelaide, PFP is being used as a precursor to a statewide ban, and is the first one to adopt our new 'precinct' model, which will see us working with retailers in specific areas, including Surf Lifesaving Clubs South Australia and the Adelaide Central Market.
Our longest operating program in Noosa has now eliminated a minimum of 3 million single-use plastic items in 18 months! Also we have just issued the Plastic Free Event Guide for councils. Check out our new website for the latest updates from our communities, as well as how your area can become a Plastic Free Place.
Rianti Bieler published Newsletter September 2019 - Circular Economy Rules 2019-09-17 13:31:20 +1000
Boomerang Alliance considers the following actions to offer a good guide to achieving a circular economy:
- Prioritise the use of renewable, non-toxic and sustainable materials in manufacturing, whilst minimising resource use
- Design products for post-consumer re-use or recycling
- Maximise product lifespans through maintenance and repair
- Manage discarded products so that they are efficiently collected for re-use or recycling.
- Discarded products should be managed to achieve their highest resource value
- Collaborate throughout the product supply chain to maximise resource value, jobs and business opportunities in collection and resource recovery
- Educate consumers on the value of finite resources and the need to retain these in the economy, and specifically about best practice procurement and discard behaviour to achieve a circular economy
Buy Australian Recycled stuff – the real solution
Recycling is not just putting materials into the yellow bin – we need to create demand for products made out of those materials otherwise recycling doesn’t work and Councils are faced with stockpiles of materials with no markets. Nobody likes to hear about recyclables going to landfill! But with the collapse of the export market, that’s where they will go – or to dangerous waste to energy.
Buy Australian Recycled Procurement policies should be mandated at federal, state and local levels and for packaging. Environment ministers are discussing a 30% recycled content requirement by 2025 – but that should be a minimum – already some products are 100%.
Stay tuned for more actions in the Buy Recycled campaign. Help us by sending in the name and photo of your favourite thing made of recycled content or worst example of wasteful packaging without recycled content to: [email protected]. Also tell us where you bought it.
Rianti Bieler published Council Plastic Free Event Guide Released in Latest 2019-07-22 11:58:19 +1000
The Boomerang Alliance has released a comprehensive guide (The Boomerang Alliance Plastic Free Council Event Guide) to provide councils with advice on how to reduce plastic use as part of tackling plastic pollution.
The guide is also available to any event organisers who wish to adopt plastic-free policies.
The Guide is based on practical experience and intended to assist councils to adopt policies to manage single-use plastic phase-outs from their events. Or, for councils who have already adopted plastic free event policies, additional ideas to go further. It is endorsed by the Queensland Local Government Association and Minister for Environment.
'Plastic coffee cups/lids, straws, bags, cups and food containers, cutlery and water bottles are routinely used at public events and are also amongst the most common litter items,' said Toby Hutcheon, QLD Manager of the Boomerang Alliance.
'Events are controlled spaces so by eliminating the use of these single use plastics in favour of reusable or 100% compostable items, events can reduce their plastic footprint and slash their plastic waste.'
'Eliminating the use of these plastic products is an important way to achieve less litter to waterways and the ocean, less wasted resources and reductions in fossil fuel use.'
The Boomerang Alliance's successful Plastic Free Places (Noosa) Project, funded by the Queensland State Government, Tourism Noosa and Noosa Council has shown what a difference going plastic-free can make. In the last 12 months, the project has eliminated over 3 million single-use plastic items in cafes and at events.
Major events, such as the Noosa Triathlon 2018 removed 180,000 plastic cups from use. The Noosa Food and Wine Festival 2019 went plastic-free and sent 1.3 tonnes of discarded food and food ware to a commercial composter, and not to landfill.
'With the National Waste Policy establishing targets for all packaging to be reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025, and the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) seeking to have 70% of all packaging either composted or recycled by 2025, the time is right for events to demonstrate that packaging and other event items, can be reused or composted rather than landfilled,' said Hutcheon.
'We are grateful for the assistance of Noosa businesses, community and Council and the support of the LGAQ and Queensland Government in developing the program.'
Key Features promoted for a Plastic Free Event:
- Events are promoted as plastic free to build public awareness
- All vendors provide only reusable or 100% compostable food ware
- Events utilise a refillable cup system at bars and drink outlets
- No helium balloon releases are allowed at the event
- Event organisers are encouraged to provide water refill stations to limit plastic water bottles
- Discarded wastes are collected so they can be recycled or composted rather than landfilled
- Organisers take a continuous improvement approach to reducing plastic wastes. What they can’t do this time, they will arrange next time
The guide and support information on plastic free events is available on the Boomerang Alliance website: www.plasticfreeplaces.org
Rianti Bieler published Council Plastic Free Event Guide Released in Plastic Pollution 2019-07-22 11:07:34 +1000
Rianti Bieler published BA Victorian Campaigner Dr Annett Finger on 3AW Drive in Latest 2019-07-16 13:16:03 +1000
Surely the obvious solution for councils if they want to reduce the amount of rubbish collection is Container Deposit Scheme? Boomerang Alliance campaigner in Victoria, Dr Annett Finger spoke with Nick McCallum on 3AW DriveRead more
The Australian Federal Election will take place in May 2019 and Boomerang Alliance will be following it closely. Through the election period there will be articles and media releases that will address our concern about the waste and recycling issues.Together with the Australian Council of Recyclers (ACOR), Boomerang Alliance released 5 priority actions for the next Commonwealth Government needs to implement to solve Australia’s waste and recycling crisis. We are calling on all political parties to announce support for these measures. The five measures include investment in recycling, tax incentives for 'Buy Recycled', strengthening the Product Stewardship Act, adopting a Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy and getting better data on waste, litter and resource recovery (see media release in resources page)For you, our allies and supporters, this means we are seeking:
- Funding for a Recycling Industry Development scheme of $150 million
- Phasing out of single use plastic takeaway items (coffee cups/lids, straws, cups and containers and cutlery)
- A national ban on plastic bags and microbeads and introduction of a CDS in every State
- Strengthen the Product Stewardship Act to make all packaging composted or recycled before 2025
- Adopting a national Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy for other single use plastics
- Support for global action and help for our neighbors deal with plastic litter and waste
STATEMENT FROM KEY PARTIES
A re-elected Morrison Government will invest $203 million to increase recycling and reduce waste, protect Australia’s unique threatened species and restore our waterways and coasts.
A Shorten Labor Government will make Australia a world leader in tackling plastic use and boosting recycling – investing $290 million to cut waste and handing on a cleaner Australia for the next generation.
The Greens will invest $500 million over five years into infrastructure and programs to reboot recycling.
Rianti Bieler published Why is recycling plastic packaging so hard in Australia in Federal Election 2019 2019-04-23 06:54:43 +1000
Where the three Key Political Parties stand on Plastics and Recycling
Posted by Jeff Angel · May 14, 2019 10:43 AM
Plastic Pollution: Why helping our Pacific neighbours is important
Posted by Toby Hutcheon · May 13, 2019 12:10 PM
Phase-Out Single use Plastics is the next step in reducing Plastic PollutionSee all posts
Posted by Toby Hutcheon · May 06, 2019 12:21 PM
Rianti Bieler published ACOR and Boomerang Alliance announce the 5 big waste policies for Federal Election in Federal Election 2019 2019-03-26 18:30:02 +1100
Rianti Bieler published ....On the TWELFTH day of Christmas, Time to get creative in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-14 19:55:23 +1100
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And it’s also the most wasteful. Studies suggest household refuse increases by 30 per cent as Australians splurge $50million on food, drink, presents…and decorations.
And with the vast majority of Christmas decorations comprise of plastic in some form, a huge percentage is destined for landfill comes New Year where they will languish for a very long time.
And while there are a number of plastic-free options for sale, why not get creative and make your own gorgeous festive decorations. They’re easy to assemble and fun for all the family. Here’s a couple of suggestions for festive merriment this holiday season.
Deck the halls with our festive prints. Print them out and simply fashion into any shape you fancy.
ORIGAMI PAPER CHRISTMAS TREE
CONICAL CHRISTMAS TREE
Rianti Bieler published ....On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas.. Save money on postage! in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-11 18:18:34 +1100
We’ve all been there. It’s Christmas Eve and between all the shopping and wrapping and cooking and stressing, there’s the horrible realization you forgot to send Christmas cards. But who needs a festive greeting that comes covered in glitter or wrapped in plastic, requires postage and takes an age to be delivered.
Digital Christmas cards are the only way to go and the benefits are outstanding. No plastic footprint, no charge and instant delivery anywhere around the globe means eChristmas cards are the way of the future.
Rianti Bieler published ....On the TENTH day of Christmas.. money money money! in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-10 13:09:15 +1100
Cash, bills, dough, Benjamins, bucks, dinero, wonga – whatever you call it, nothing beats money as the ultimate Christmas gift. Instead of scrambling around for a gift, or being landed with an item you would sooner do without, cash is always the way to go. And forget gift cards and gift vouchers. They’re usually plastic and unrecyclable and bind you to an individual store.
So for the perfect gift, fashion a homemade card, pop a note in there and spread the Xmas cheer.
FACT: EVERYONE LOVES MONEY
Rianti Bieler published ....On the NINTH day of Christmas.. the art of furoshiki in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-09 08:27:48 +1100
Forget wrapping paper, plastic labels or sticky tape. It's all about Furoshiki.
Originating from Japan, the age-old technique of wrapping gifts in a fabric of choice has made a significant resurgence in the wake of increasing environmental awareness.
Highly versatile, colourful vibrant fabric like scarfs can be found at op shops while cutting up old sheets offers the opportunity to decorate and embellish with dyes and fabric paint or pens. And tying with a ribbon gives that extra personal touch.
Affordable and eco-friendly, there are hundreds of tutorials clips with knot techniques on YouTube. And let’s be honest, all the cools kids are doing it.
FACT: Cloth wrapping has been used for over 1200 years in Japan and the word furoshiki came about during the Edo period (1603-1868) when the cloths were commonly used in bath houses to wrap clothes and as a bath mat. The word furoshiki means 'bath spread'.
Rianti Bieler published ....On the EIGHT day of Christmas.. say NO to plastic toys in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-08 07:24:27 +1100
REDUCE: Non-plastic toys
The toy industry is a huge contributor to the waste stream because 90 per cent of toys made are of plastic, they’re virtually unrecyclable – and kids can’t get enough of them. AND let's not forget the plastic packaging.
Thankfully, there is a wide selection of non-plastic alternatives available.
Wooden toys are the obvious choice. They're classic, durable and long lasting. And go for ones that offer more open-ended play where children can think up lots of different games with them rather than being restricted to just one.
FACT: The health effects of the chemicals used in the manufacturing of plastic toys are not fully known but at least one type of common chemical, called phthalates ― which is used to soften toys ― has been linked to a number of health issues including birth defects, diabetes and cancer.
In short, plastic toys are BAD!
Rianti Bieler published ....On the SEVENTH day of Christmas.. make memories! in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-07 16:13:05 +1100
Making memories together is what life is all about. And what better way to do that then by gifting your loved ones with special experiences they’ll never forget.
Why not paddle-boarding? Get fit and up close and personal with some of the hidden, inaccessible gems on our coastline.
What about a whale-watching cruise? Encounter the majestic marine wildlife we’re striving to protect from marine plastic pollution.
Why not a tour of the Great Barrier Reef if you’re feeling particularly generous?
The choices and possibilities are endless.
TIP: Shop around for a local experience to help support your community
Rianti Bieler published ....On the SIXTH day of Christmas, give a gift of plants in 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas 2018-12-06 20:36:45 +1100
REDUCE: Sowing the seeds
They say a home without plants is a home without life.
The benefits are endless – improvement of air quality and humidity and reduction of carbon dioxide levels. They’re proven to reduce stress levels and promote calm and serenity. And let’s be real, they’re beautiful to look at.
So what could be a better gift this Christmas? But while garden centres generally exercise the use of plastic pots (often unrecyclable black plastic, no less), why not gift your friends and family with a packet of seeds. Flowers, herbs, saplings, the choice is yours.
And boost your sustainability street cred by reusing an old paper egg carton (try to avoid the Styrofoam alternative).
Cut the cups of your carton apart and pop your seed in with some soil. Experts also suggest tossing in a pinch of coffee grounds because they add nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.
When they’re ready, plant them directly into the earth and the roots will be able to break through the paper which will break down into compost eventually. The paper will also help your newly-planted seedling's roots stay moist until it breaks down
TIP: For a truly plastic-free Christmas, dress one of your pot plants in decorations and lights and avoid chopping down a tree. When you’re done, put it back outside for another year.