Rianti Bieler

  • 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.

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  • 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)



    Back to July 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • 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!


    Back to July 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • 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.


    Back to July 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • 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:


    Back to July 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • 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.


    Back to July 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • published Media Releases in Resources 2021-06-22 12:34:51 +1000

    Media Releases - 2023

    For interview request, please email [email protected]

    12 June 2024 -Plastic is Killing Marine Life, Poisoning the Planet & Humans: Thousands Call on Plibersek to Act

    12 June 2024 - World Refill Day: Australia is Choosing to Reuse

    26 April 2024 - Boomerang Alliance has called on major supermarkets to change soft plastics labels

    12 April 2024 - Let's Enhance the Container Refund Scheme. 

    29 Nov 2023 - If QLD can do it... Call on states to expand 10c refunds for wine, spirits

    1 Nov 2023 - Wine, spirit bottles need 10c refunds

    29 Oct 2023 - NSW moves on huge plastic problem

    29 Sep 2023 - Soft plastics recovery and recycling takes first steps

    25 Sep 2023 - National Soft Plastics Summit: Producers and Retailers urged to fastrack solution

    22 Sep 2023 - National Packaging Solution: Producers mandated to take full responsibility for waste & pollution

    15 Sep 2023 - Container Refund Scheme must be expanded

    25 Aug 2023 - Time for the Reuse Revolution in Australia

    28 Jun 2023 - Mandatory packaging targets can turn Australia's tide on plastic

    9 Jun 2023 - Major breakthrough in packaging waste crisis

    5 Jun 2023 - Australia's plastic ambitions must step up

    20 Apr 2023 - Scale of packaging mess revealed

    20 Apr 2023 - Cheers to QLD for move on wine, spirits in container refunds

    14 Apr 2023 - Container refunds come to Victoria - finally - but challenges ahead

    7 Mar 2023 - Supermarkets released timid plan for soft plastics recycling

    24 Feb 2023 - Supermarkets first step on soft plastics journey?

    23 Feb 2023 - Queensland to ban the release of lighter than air balloons

    15 Feb 2023 - Woolworths should supply reusable bags, not paper bags

    13 Feb 2023 - National Plan for soft plastics recycling released

    11 Jan 2023 - Restaurants should stop serving in disposable foodware


    Media Release 2022

    Media Release 2021

  • published Media Centre 2021-06-22 12:04:01 +1000



    For all media enquiries and interview requests:
    Email: [email protected]
    Call: +61 (0)2 9211 5022


    Jeff Angel – Director

    Jeff is famous for both his uncompromising integrity and his ability to reconcile people and interest groups with no apparent common ground for the good of us all. He's also been a favoured commentator on TV radio and in print for decades. Softly spoken, diplomatic and scrupulous, he is a dogged and fearless campaigner. Jeff has forged alliances between countless factions in government, industry, business, and community, producing one constructive outcome for the environment after the other, since becoming involved in the campaign to protect the rainforests 36 years ago when he was at university studying Economics.  Jeff’s achievements range from pushing policy and legislation to protect clean air, restore urban rivers, conserve our coasts, wetlands and wilderness, combat climate change, reform business and government to embrace environmental sustainability, prevent broad-scale land clearing, save our common green spaces, and more. He is also Executive Director of the Total Environment Centre. Jeff published 'Green is Good' (ABC Books) in 2008 and is a regular and highly respected media commentator. Jeff has been awarded an Order of Australia and Centenary Medal.

    Areas of expertise: waste and recycling, plastic pollution, plastic regulations


    Toby Hutcheon - Campaign Manager

    Toby has worked on environmental issues for 30 years. He started at Greenpeace on the Nuclear Free Seas campaign, dividing his time between the office and the bows of nuclear warships. He was Greenpeace Australia’s first Action Coordinator, managed the Communications Division, and helped initiate the 'green' Sydney Olympics. He moved to Europe in 1996, working on the Chernobyl Campaign for Greenpeace in Moscow.

    Toby was the Executive Director of the Qld Conservation Council from 2004-2014, and has tertiary qualifications in education, marketing and journalism. As our Campaigns Manager, he creates the strategies and actions to run our successful campaigns, and works with governments on policy. He believes that we can all make a difference.

    Areas of expertise: waste and recycling, plastic pollution, plastic regulations, plastic free places


    Kellie Lindsay - Program Manager Plastic Free Places

    Kellie oversees the management of the Plastic Free Places program and helps develop the systems and partnerships that drive it. She obtained a business degree before pursuing an environmental career, further obtaining a Master's in Environmental Management. She has managed the program since its inception in late 2016, and prior to this, helped implement successful campaigns for a container refund scheme and plastic bag ban in Qld.

    'The key to the success of this program has been direct engagement with our members and the behind the scenes work we do to make it easy for them to switch. We work to support them, to make it straight-forward, and deliver real solutions to these businesses'.

    Areas of expertise: single use plastics


    Lisa Wriley - Campaigner

    Lisa has a gift for working with communities, and extensive experience as an educator in schools. She is particularly sympathetic towards younger students having raised two boys of her own, Lisa can wrangle any age group.

    She loves being creative, animating the campaigns with characters and running stalls to engage with the community. Lisa can strike up a conversation with anyone from any walk of life. Her passion for the environment and deep knowledge of waste and recycling issues after more than ten years of campaigning, coupled with a warm and affable manner make her one of the most effective communicators on our team.

    With her background in Education for Sustainability, Lisa also helps schools to set up worm tubs for their organic waste, teaches composting at Kariong Eco Garden, and supports waste reduction strategies at Central Coast schools.

    Areas of expertise: Sustainability, waste management and recycling, creative ways to communicate campaigns


  • published Plastic bans forge ahead in Plastic Pollution 2021-06-22 11:10:23 +1000

  • published Plastic bans forge ahead in Latest News 2021-06-22 11:01:30 +1000

    Plastic bans forge ahead

    In an eventful weekend for plastic pollution when two states announced bans on single use items - WA jumped ahead of the pack.

    Read more

  • NSW takes major steps on plastic and waste

    The release of the Plastics and Waste Policies will move the state into a new era of pollution reduction and recycling.

    Read more

  • published Qld Plastic Ban Tour 2021 2021-06-09 15:19:37 +1000

  • published NSW dawdles on plastic in Latest News 2021-06-09 15:06:31 +1000

    NSW dawdles on plastic

    What has South Australia, Queensland, the ACT, Western Australia and Victoria done – that NSW hasn’t? Ban single use plastic items that are polluting our environment and killing marine life. We haven’t even banned lightweight plastic bags when every other state and territory took action years ago!

    Read more

  • published What's the Plan B for packaging? in Plastic Pollution 2021-05-19 09:40:23 +1000

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