Rianti Bieler published A Ban on Thick Plastic Carrier Bags in Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM) 2019 Blog 2019-10-28 17:47:13 +1100
A Boomerang Alliance Backgrounder.
The ban on lightweight plastic bags in Australia, except NSW has had a significant impact on litter and consumer behaviour.Read more
Rianti Bieler published MEM 2019: Boomerang Alliance Letter of Recommendation to the Environment Ministers in Latest News 2019-10-28 15:40:51 +1100
Australia's environment ministers will be meeting in early November to agree on an action plan and Boomerang Alliance sent a letter of recommendations to the ministers.Read more
Rianti Bieler published Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM) 2019 Blog in Latest News 2019-10-28 15:30:01 +1100
Phasing-Out Single use Plastics is the Next Step in Reducing Plastic PollutionSee all posts
Posted by Jeff Angel · October 28, 2019 6:45 PM
SAVE RECYCLING & STOP PLASTIC POLLUTION
On Friday 8 November the Commonwealth and State/Territory Environment Ministers are meeting in Adelaide to decide the future of recycling in Australia and discuss urgent action on plastic pollution. There has been a lot of talk so far and as these meetings only happen twice a year - the community and the environment need to see results.
What Boomerang Alliance wants from Environment Ministers to Save Recycling and create a Circular Economy:
- Action on the national ban on the export of mixed waste and contaminated recyclables and commitment to investment in domestic recycling.
- Agreement on procurement policies for recycled content in products by government and business, that will create a market for recyclables, particularly plastics.
- Expand all state/territory Container Deposit Schemes to include wine and spirit containers and potentially refillable containers; a requirement that all collected containers have significant recycled content from 2023; and consideration of an increase in the deposit on containers to 20 cents by 2023 if best practice targets not met.
- An enforceable product stewardship scheme for packaging that sets mandatory requirements to minimise virgin materials and toxicity, and ensure it is designed for easy and economically viable recovery (for reuse, composting or recycling).
What Boomerang Alliance wants from Environment Ministers to Stop Plastic Pollution:
- A Plastic Bag Ban (com'on NSW) and Container Deposit Scheme (wake-up Victoria) in each State.
- A national phase-out of thick plastic bags by 2021.
- A phase-out of single use (non-compostable) takeaway packaging, including coffee cups/lids, straws, cups and containers, cutlery, bags and plastic bottles, by 2021.
- Support for a National Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy to attack other sources of plastic harm.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Boomerang Alliance is posting a series of blogs on our key goals and we will have updates on ministerial responses; other developments prior to and from the November meeting. Also keep track of the campaign on Facebook.
After each meeting Environment Ministers release a communique which you can see here. - you can check out the result from 8 Nov here.
WANT TO DO MORE?
Take a photo of yourself with a recycled product you have bought or found (in a store), use the hashtags #buyrecycled #circulareconomy, tag and message us on Facebook or send an email to [email protected] before Tuesday 5/11/19. We will share these images on our Facebook page in the days leading up to the Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM) and with the Federal and State Environment ministers before the MEM on Friday 8/11/19. See example below.
SOCIAL MEDIA 'HANDLES'
When you use these in your posts or tweets it also goes to the person whose 'handle' you use:
YOU CAN SEND AN EMAIL TO THE ENVIRONMENT MINISTERS
Rianti Bieler published Cairns And Townsville Become 'Plastic Free Places' To Try Save The Reef in Latest News 2019-09-30 12:22:21 +1000
The Great Barrier Reef is not only one of the wonders of the natural world, it supports 64,000 jobs in Queensland. But that natural wonder is under serious threat, not just from climate change, but also from plastic pollution.Read more
Rianti Bieler published Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2019 in Newsletter 2019-09-23 11:48:56 +1000
Plastic "L" (Learner) and "P" (Provisional) driver plates can often be seen in NSW on the roadside and in the gutters as they too easily fall off cars. Boomerang is calling on the NSW government to change the requirement for Learner and Provisional plates to be on the exterior of the vehicle only; and to stop distributing low quality plastic plates which too often end up on the roads, which are then washed down the stormwater drains, becoming plastic pollution.
We are confident that the NSW government can offer better options. Even the cardboard L plates issued in the 1980's would be better. Durable plastic that could be passed from Learner Driver to Learner Driver or perhaps come up with a whole new idea such as recycled and recyclable aluminium plates!
Queensland offers a downloadable template; SA sells 'see-through plates' for inside the car window; ACT, WA, Tasmania and Victoria simply require: "You must display L-plates so they are clearly visible from the front and back of the car you are driving." Magnetic plates, plate display brackets and plate clips are also available in most states and territories.
This is an easily preventable form of plastic pollution - and with your support, we look forward to NSW taking action to prevent it.
THESE ARE ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO LET THE GOVERNMENT KNOW THAT WE WANT THIS PLASTIC POLLUTION STOPPED!
1. SIGN OUR PETITION
Boomerang Alliance is calling on the NSW government to change the requirement for Learner and Provisional plates to be on the exterior of the the vehicle only and to stop distributing low quality plastic plates. Please sign our petition on the right hand side of this page.
We encourage you to send any "L" or "P" driver plates that you find to Minister for Customer Service The Hon. Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Transport and Roads The Hon. Andrew Constance MP or Minister for Energy and Environment The Hon. Matt Kean MP, with a note asking for a change in the law that currently requires them to be on the exterior of the vehicle. Below are a couple of sample notes to give you an idea of what to write.
Wrap the plates in scrap paper, address them, stick on a stamp and send them to:
The Hon. Victor Dominello, MP
Minister for Customer Service, NSW Government
GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY NSW 2001
The Hon. Matt Kean, MP
Minister for Energy and Environment, NSW Government
GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY NSW 2001
The Hon. Andrew Constance, MP
Minister for Transport and Roads, NSW Government
GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY NSW 2001
Sample note 1
Dear Minisiter Dominello,
Freebie plastic "L" and "P" plates given out at Service NSW locations are creating plastic pollution as they regularly fall off vehicles, onto the road and wash into stormwater drains. Please change the law that requires them to be on the exterior of the vehicle (other states eg. SA allow internal "see through" versions) and RE-THINK the cheap brittle plastic they are made of. We can do better than this.
(don't forget to add your return address so that the minister can write back to you)
Sample note 2
Dear Minister Matt Kean,
I am sick of seeing lost "L" and "P" plates on the road. They break into lots of little pieces of plastic and wash down the stormwater drains. Please RE-THINK the design of these plates - free "L" plates could be cardboard; "P" plates could be aluminium - totally recyclable! I will keep posting them to you until we get something better in NSW.
Look forward to hearing of a change.
(don't forget to add your return address so that the minister can write back to you)
Information on Learner and Provisional plates display in other states
State/Territory External only Internal assumed Not specified Materials Western Australia x Printable South Australia x x See-through plates for sale Northern Territory x Tasmania x Victoria x New South Wales x Plastic freebies Australian Capital Territory x Queensland x Downloadable template320 signatures
Boomerang Alliance is calling on the NSW government to change the requirement for Learner and Provisional plates to be on the exterior of the the vehicle only and to stop distributing low quality plastic plates as many of them end up on the roads only to be washed down the stormwater drains, becoming plastic pollution.
Rianti Bieler published Submission to the Circular Economy Issues Paper in Waste Solutions 2019-09-19 11:16:33 +1000
Rianti Bieler published Submission on Energy from Waste Discussion Paper in Waste Solutions 2019-09-19 10:51:59 +1000
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 News 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 News 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