Rianti Bieler

  • Plastic Pollution Treaty takes a big step

    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.

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  • Policy Recommendations: SA Election March 2022

    South Australians go to the polls on 19 March. The Boomerang Alliance have called on all political parties to support an expansion of the container deposit scheme to include wine and spirit bottles, to ban further single use plastics and promote reusable cups and containers.

    Download Boomerang Alliance Policy Recommendations: South Australia Election March 2022

  • Tas Container Refunds Bill – more delay?

    Environment groups are urging that the forthcoming debate on Tasmania’s drink container refund law progress rapidly through the State Parliament and not suffer further delays.

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  • Wine Bottlers should join Container Refund Schemes

    Wine and spirits bottlers should join the container refund by the beginning of 2023. Frankly it is an embarrassment that they are not already part of the very successful 10cent refund program. The South Australian wine sector seems to be particularly opposed. Their environmental reputation is rightly being questioned – it will become a consumer negative with a possible call for boycotts if they don't join up.

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  • published Submissions in Resources 2022-02-07 16:30:13 +1100



    21 Jun 2023 - Senate inquiry into Greenwashing

    The Boomerang Alliance provided feedback on combating greenwash and support the need to include legislative action to help eliminate greenwash in the waste and recycling sector.


    6 Apr 2023 - Phasing out single use plastics in the Northern Territory

    The Boomerang Alliance provided a perspective on phasing out identified single use plastics in the Northern Territory.


    4 Apr 2023 - Northern Territory improving the Container Deposit Scheme

    The Boomerang Alliance submitted a joint submission with the Total Environment Centre on further proposals to improve the NT Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).


    22 Dec 2022 - Inquiry into the impacts of plastic pollution in Australia's oceans and waterways

    Boomerang Alliance submitted a joint submission to House of Representatives Standing Committee Inquiry into the impacts of plastic pollution in Australia’s oceans and waterways with Total Environment Centre and AUSMAP.


    13 May 2022 - Victoria's Single Use Plastic Ban Draft Regulations

    The Victorian Government proposes to ban the above items in February 2023. These bans go some way towards Victoria catching up with South Australia, Queensland, the ACT, Western Australia, and New South Wales who have either already introduced or plan to introduce bans before the end of 2022. The Victorian government is now seeking feedback on the draft Regulations and the Regulatory Impact Statement.


    15 Feb 2022 - Turning the Tide: The Future of Single Use Plastics in South Australia

    South Australia is planning to ban more plastic items adding to the ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery, soon to be expanded to polystyrene cups and containers and oxo-degradable products in March 2022. The SA Government is now seeking views on items including coffee cups and lids, plastic cups and lids, produce bags, bread tags, and confetti.


    14 Feb 2022 - Northern Territory Circular Economy Strategy

    In our submission on the Northern Territory Draft Circular Economy Strategy 2022-27, the Boomerang Alliance has welcomed the NT Government seeking to develop a circular economy on waste and resource recovery. We remain concerned that the NT having acted earlier than most other Australian jurisdictions on a container deposit scheme and plastic bags, has still not acted on other single use plastics. We have urged the NT Government to introduce bans on problem single use takeaway plastic packaging as soon as possible.


    28 Jan 2022 - Queensland Single-Use Plastics Ban Expansion

    In 2021 Queensland banned plastic straws, stirrers,cutlery, bowls and plates and expanded polystyrene cups and containers. The government now proposes to expand upon that list by adding plastic cups and lids, coffee cups and lids,heavy duty plastic bags, cotton bud and balloons sticks, microbeads, bread bag tags, EPS meat trays, plastic wraps on newspapers and loose polystyrene packaging. The government also seeks views on adding plastic takeaway containers, balloons, bait bags and sauce/condiment sachets.


    27 Oct 2021 - Draft Standard DR AS/NZS 5328, Flushable Products

    The toilet is not a bin and the most important question should not be "can it be flushed?" or "is it flushable?" but "SHOULD it be flushed?"

  • published SUP Phase Out Queensland in Past Campaigns 2022-02-07 14:03:16 +1100

    SUP Phase Out Queensland

    The Queensland Government is seeking your views on its proposed single use plastic items ban. Deadline is 28 Jan 2022.

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  • published SUP phase out QLD in Campaigns 2021-12-12 17:56:15 +1100

    SUP phase out Queensland

    The Queensland Government is seeking your views on its proposed single use plastic items ban. In 2021 Queensland banned plastic straws, stirrers,cutlery, bowls and plates and expanded polystyrene cups and containers. The government now proposes to expand upon that list by adding plastic cups and lids, coffee cups and lids,heavy duty plastic bags, cotton bud and balloons sticks, microbeads, bread bag tags, EPS meat trays, plastic wraps on newspapers and loose polystyrene packaging

    The government also seeks views on adding plastic takeaway containers, balloons, bait bags and sauce/condiment sachets.

    The simple answer to whether these items should be added to a ban is YES and as soon as practical in 2022. All of these items have preferred alternatives

    You can have your say by completing a survey through this link: https://e-hub.engagementhub.com.au/single-use-plastics

  • 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

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

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