Rianti Bieler

  • ABC News Radio: 'Plastic pact' does not go far enough

    Major supermarket chains and multinational brands are among more than 60 organisations to sign up to a long-awaited pact to reduce plastic waste across Australia and the region.

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  • Plastic Pact – don’t get too excited. Plan B released.

    The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is launching the ANZPAC Plastic Pact today, a collaborative solution that brings together key players behind a shared vision of a circular economy for plastic, where plastic never becomes waste or pollution. It aims to share knowledge, investment and industry led innovation to implement solutions tailored to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands region.

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  • published L & P Driver Plates Pollution in Plastic Pollution 2021-04-19 11:40:32 +1000

    Stop plastic pollution from Learner & Provisional driver plates in NSW

    NSW regulation requires that plastic “L” (Learner) and “P” (Provisional) plates be on the exterior of the vehicle only. These plastic plates can often be seen in NSW on the roadside and in the gutters as they too easily fall off cars and wash down the stormwater drains, becoming plastic pollution.

    Boomerang Alliance is calling on the NSW government to change the current requirement to allow the Learner and Provisional plates to be displayed inside the vehicle.

    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.




    Boomerang Alliance is calling on the NSW government to change the current requirement to allow the Learner and Provisional plates to be displayed inside the vehicle. Please sign our Change.org petition.



    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. James Griffin, MP
    Minister for Environment and Heritage, 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 Minister 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). We can do better than this.

    Kind regards,

    (don't forget to add your return address so that the minister can write back to you)


    Sample note 2

    Dear Minister James Griffin,

    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 law that requires them to be on the exterior of the vehicle and allow them to be displayed inside the vehicle. I will keep posting them to you until we get something better in NSW.

    Look forward to hearing of a change.

    Kind regards,

    (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 template


  • Victorian Cash for Containers Scheme announced

    The Victorian Government’s decision on how the state’s container deposit system (CDS) will operate is a good and wise decision, the Boomerang Alliance of 53 NGOs said today.

    "We congratulate the government for listening to the community and rejecting the disinformation campaign by the big bottlers, Coke and Lion, their lobby group VicRecyle and Planet Ark. Everyone should now move on and work together on the key metrics like recycling targets, involvement of charities and the most accessible collection points for consumers to get their 10c refunds,’’ said Jeff Angel, Director of the Alliance.

    "Our research into the various types of schemes here in Australia and overseas shows that the chosen "split responsibility" model (Coordinator and Network Operators) is best practise. It sets up the right allocation of responsibilities so that the system can grow, be accountable, accessible and deliver multiple benefits for decades. It’s based on the NSW approach where there has been very significant involvement of charities and small businesses; billions of drink containers returned; and very accessible refund points," Mr Angel said.

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

    Whilst key design elements and collection arrangements are still to be worked out, the announced scheme means that:

    • Responsibility for the scheme is split between the government, the beverage industry and a container collection network (still to be determined)
    • Victorians will be able to redeem a 10 cent refund on every plastic, glass or aluminium drink container from 2023
    • Container litter will be slashed and recycling significantly increased
    • Community organisations will be able to fundraise by collecting cans and bottles



  • published NSW Plastics Plan 2020 in Past Campaigns 2021-04-13 17:34:13 +1000

    NSW Plastics Plan 2020

    The NSW government has just released a discussion paper Cleaning Up Our Act: Redirecting the Future Plastics in NSW. The paper seeks public views on what action NSW should be doing to address plastic pollution in the State. 

    discussion-paper-cover.jpgDid you know that 75% of marine debris found around the coastline of Australia is plastic, and comes from local land-based sources?

    The New South Wales Government has released its Cleaning Up Our Act- Redirecting the Future of Plastics in NSW Discussion Paper. It is seeking your views on how plastic waste and litter could be reduced, with four outcomes:

    • The phase-out of single use plastics
    • Tripling the proportion of plastics recycled in NSW by 2030
    • Reducing plastic litter by 25% by 2025
    • Making NSW a leader in plastic research and innovation

    A welcome, long awaited promise is to phase-out lightweight plastic shopping bags (less than 35 microns thick, including those made from degradable and 'compostable' plastic).

    If you prefer to have the discussion paper read to you, Boomerang Alliance together with our allies have made a recording of the Discussion Paper Reading done in four parts which you can view below. 


    Read more

  • published Recycling and Waste Bill 2020 in Past Campaigns 2021-04-13 17:18:05 +1000

    Recycling and Waste Bill 2020

    This year’s final session of Parliament is voting on a new law to stop the export of waste and enact better product stewardship laws. It's a big opportunity to tackle packaging and single use plastics (*background information below).

    We need your help to make the new law, which will be debated in the Senate on 9 November, effective. A short email (see below) to key MPs could make the difference.


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  • published Suptember 2020 in Past Campaigns 2021-04-13 17:10:43 +1000

    Suptember 2020

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


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  • Bans on Single Use Plastics must occur in next Tas Parliament

    The Boomerang Alliance of 53 national, state and local NGOs has called on political parties in the Tasmanian Election to commit to the introduction of bans on problem single use plastics and develop greater recycling.

    "Tasmania made a great start with its commitment to a best practise container deposit scheme (CDS) and was the second state to introduce a ban of lightweight plastics bags in 2013. With plastic pollution an ever growing environmental threat – the state needs to take the next big steps’’, said Jeff Angel, Director of the Alliance.

    "Tasmania should not be the last State to ban problem single-use plastic takeaway items. However time is running out as other mainland states are moving quickly. It’s a natural move as Tassie has an enviable reputation as a green and healthy island."

    "Plastic bans are popular in the community and will change business and consumer practices and significantly reduce plastic litter and waste. This election is the opportunity to put things right, to change plastics habits and reduce plastic litter and waste, once and for all. We want to see all political parties include these measures in their election policies."


    Background Facts

    • Five States and Territories have banned or plan to ban plastic takeaway items. NSW is likely soon. That leaves Tasmania and the NT to act.

    • According to latest Clean Up Australia data for Tasmania, 41% of all litter was beverage and takeaway food packaging.


    Our policy asks for the next Parliament:

    • Introduce a container deposit scheme on schedule with a declared return target of 90% + within 3 years.

    • Develop a long-term Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy for the State that addresses single-use plastics in the home, away from home, in agriculture, business and industry and the marine environment.

    • Implement by mid-2022, laws to prohibit the supply of identified single use plastic takeaway items. Specifically plastic straws, cutlery, coffee cups/lids, cups and containers and heavyweight plastic bags. Other items such as plastic stems on cotton buds and other problem plastics should be included.

    • Enact laws to ban the release of helium balloons for non-scientific purposes and prevent the supply of helium at retail level for event and recreational balloon purposes.

    • Increase funding for community litter clean ups and citizen science projects on plastics and litter.

    • Make all government sponsored public events plastic-free.

    • Promote the uptake of reusable foodware in takeaway and food services.

    • Adopt targets for recycled content in government procurement and ensure certified standards for reusable and compostable food ware are adhered to.

  • Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - March 2021

    March 2021


    Three months into 2021 and we are making progress to reduce plastic pollution. Five State and Territory Governments have passed a law or are planning to introduce bans on problem single-use plastics. These are South Australia, Queensland, the ACT, Western Australia, with Victoria recently joining them. Three jurisdictions to still to act - New South Wales, Tasmania and the NT. NSW, the biggest state in the nation is an embarrassment, having not even banned plastic bags!

    Single use plastic bans begin

    South Australia began on 1 March 2021 banning plastic straws,stirrers and cutlery. Queensland will start on 1 September with, in addition to the SA list, plates, bowls and expanded polystyrene containers. ACT laws come into force on 1 July and will ban plastic cutlery, stirrers and expanded polystyrene food and beverage containers.

    Both Western Australia and Victoria plan to introduce bans in 2023. The Boomerang Alliance continues to lobby for these actions to be introduced sooner.

    As for NSW, Boomerang Alliance, WWF, AMCS and Clean up Australia met with the NSW Environment Minister last month to push for action. We have also made representations to the Tasmanian and NT Governments. Our goal is to have every State and Territory phasing out problematic plastics, starting with takeaway by the end of this year.

    You can check out the full details of what these governments are doing below.

    Polystyrene packaging and cigarette butts in Commonwealth sights

    The Commonwealth Government has introduced its first National Plastic Plan. It complements State actions by introducing a number of important new initiatives. These include the phase-out of polystyrene packaging used to transport consumer goods, a new Cigarette Butt Taskforce and a requirement for all new washing machines to have filters to remove microplastics and prevent these going down the drain.

    Check out the details below.

    Still a long way to go

    The Boomerang Alliance has welcomed these actions by Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments. They will make a difference. However, we remind government (and the manufacturers and suppliers of these plastic products) that this is just the start of the journey.

    Whilst there is a goal to have all plastic packaging either reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025. We are a long way shy of achieving that goal. There is still no data on how much plastic packaging is actually reused or composted and the recycling rate for plastic packaging is only 18%. Only 2% of plastic packaging contains recycled content.

    Help us make 2021 the year real change began with a donation. With your support we can make a big difference. 



    The Commonwealth National Plastics Plan is a substantial effort with some new stand out actions.

    Significant new moves include the banning of polystyrene packaging around white goods by July 2022; microfibre filters on new washing machines; and joining the push for a global agreement to remove plastic pollution from the environment.

    The Commonwealth also plans to ban polystyrene food and beverage containers by December 2022, ahead of most state schedules.



    As Victoria and Tasmania move to implement container deposit systems (CDS) Coke and Lion have been pouring money into a campaign to get the design they want.


    Working in communities to eliminate single-use takeaway plastic at the source, our program is now active in 8 communities across Australia and has eliminated over 7.5 million pieces of single-use plastic! We’re starting a new focus on reusables this year.


    Late last year we wrote to the Prime Minister urging Australia to support an international treaty to address marine plastic pollution. We pointed to a precedent for such a treaty, the Montreal Protocol.


    Did you know that the amount of ash waste (mostly from coal-fired power stations) generated in Australia each year is "about the same as all household waste landfilled and recycled”?


    After many years of community demands to reduce plastic pollution, 2021 promises to be the year that our state and territory governments start to make a difference.


    1 April 2021

    Single-use Plastic Materials found on Mars

    In a shocking discovery, the National Aeronautics and Science Association (NASA) reports that the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover has collected what appears to be plastic debris on the surface of the planet.

    Minerals being analysed by the on-board laboratory on the MARS Explorer were found to contain fossil-fuel derived polymers that had obviously been used as tools or implements.

    ‘Whilst it is difficult to ascertain exactly what these items were, many are, by shape and size, similar to a typical plastic straw, fork or stirrer found on Earth, said Mission Director, David Jones

    ‘The discovery certainly adds further weight to the question that I, and many others have asked, whether there was life on Mars.’

    As soon as the MARS Explorer has analysed these items further, NASA will report more about our findings.

    ‘However, given that most of these items were found littered around the planet’s surface, like wastes, it would seem that any Martian civilisation that may have lived here, was obviously primitive and not concerned for their environment.’ said Jones

    For further Information: Mark Watney 27745 3665

    The Nasa Perseverance Rover that collected the plastic materials (copyright @NASA)

    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 News Flash 2021-03-31 12:07:11 +1100

    News Flash

    Coles have announced that they will no longer sell single-use plastic tableware including cups, plates, bowls, straws and cutlery from 1 July 2021. Instead, they will offer a range of Forest Stewardship Council certified tableware and reusable options.

    Boomerang Alliance welcomed the announcement although we have sought clarification about the alternatives. Are they genuinely reusable to the International standards or certified compostable to the Australian standards?

    For more information: https://www.colesgroup.com.au/media-releases/?page=coles-shelves-single-use-plastic-tableware



    WWF released a report finding 80% of packaging marked as recyclable was not being recycled.

    Of 82 popular products surveyed, the report found that only 16 products were entirely kerbside recyclable, 45 needed some materials taken to a collection point and 21 were difficult to collect and recycle.

    For more information: https://www.wwf.org.au/news/news/2021/over-80-percent-of-food-packaging-examined-in-a-new-survey-cant-go-into-home-recycling-bins#gs.wgpz2u



    The EU has just introduced law to ensure that companies that make white goods, including washing machines, fridges and TVs, must allow these products to be repaired for up to 10 years. The ‘right to repair’ is part of a broad agenda to cut the environmental footprint of manufactured goods. In Australia, the Productivity Commission is currently examining the issues.



    Boomerang Alliance and our allies are working on a revised position on deliberate helium balloon releases. The fact that this activity is littering does not seem to be stopping the activity and regulators are not acting. We think specific laws banning the deliberate release of these balloons and only allowing registered providers to use helium (but no release) will make a difference.


    Back to March 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • published Single use plastic on the way out 2021-03-31 10:12:08 +1100

    Single use plastic on the way out

    After many years of community demands to reduce plastic pollution, 2021 promises to be the year that our state and territory governments start to make a difference.  Five jurisdictions - South Australia, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and Victoria have either passed or have promised legislation to reduce takeaway single-use plastics.  We applaud them.

    The other jurisdictions, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory are considering their options but lagging behind. They need to catch up quick and we are campaigning to get them moving.  

    Below is our status report on each active state and territory.

    PROPOSED SECOND TRANCHE (expected 2022-24)
    Legislation passed 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 no earlier than 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
    Legislation 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 addition in future
    Legislation being drafted and expected to be tabled by 2023
    • Plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, eps food containers, heavyweight plastic bags, helium balloon releases (by 2023)

    • Currently reviewing position on compostable plastics
    • Plastic fruit/vegetable produce bags, microbeads, eps packaging, cotton buds with plastic shafts, oxo-degradable products (expected 2024-26)

    • Plan for Plastics allows for further additions in future
    Ban to take effect in Feb 2023 after consultation
    • Will include single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, polystyrene food and drink containers, and plastic cotton bud sticks
    • Govt agencies to ban by Feb 2022


    Back to March 2021 Newsletter page >>


    Recycle photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com

  • Sneak a peek at the 2020 National Waste Report

    Did you know?

    • The amount of ash waste (mostly from coal-fired power stations) generated in Australia each year is “about the same as all household waste landfilled and recycled.”

    • 47% of the generated ash (5.9 million tonnes in 2018-2019) was recycled – primarily as a substitute material in the mining and construction industries. Non-Recycled material was placed in on-site ash dams.

    • 47% recycling of coal ash is much lower than the global average. Japan recycles 97%, China 70% and the UK 70%.

    • If we allow incineration of mixed waste to increase (commonly referred to as Waste to Energy) we will have more ash to recycle or dispose of? Not to mention the air pollution.

    • "About 80kt of tyre dust was left on our roads. Much of this would be washed into the ocean.”

    • Significant opportunities remain to improve the recovery of organic.? Of the 4.43million tonnes of non-hazardous food waste, about 3.76 million tonnes (85%) was deposited in landfill.


    Are you curious to know about other wastes in the whole Australian economy? 

    Here is a summary of the ‘material flows’ and you can find out more by reading the Report: https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste/national-waste-reports/2020


    Ash 490kg 47% - From coal-fired power stations = domestic waste
    Glass 46kg 59% 27% 90% was used for packaging
    Hazardous 300kg 24% - Contaminated soils, asbestos. Some soil is treated
    Masonry 909kg 82% - Bricks, concrete etc - largely turned into road base
    Metals 223kg 90% 37% WINNERS! 86% steel, 8% aluminium, 6% others
    Organics 593kg 60% - Manures, bagasse, mill mud, food organics (just 10%); compost, mulch, bio-solids applied to land
    Paper + Cardboard 235kg 60% 52% More than half goes into packaging, then office paper, newsprint (less each year), tissues etc
    Plastic 101kg 13% 4% One third used in items used for less than 1 year
    Textiles 31kg 7% - Clothing, carpets, furniture coverings, rags etc. recycled textiles mostly exported
    Tyres 18kg 30% 5% Most whole end of life tyres will be subject to new waste export bans
    TOTAL 2,946kg      



    Back to March 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • published International Treaty? 2021-03-30 11:51:40 +1100

    International Treaty?

    Late last year we wrote to the Prime Minister urging Australia to support an international treaty to address marine plastic pollution. We pointed to a precedent for such a treaty, the Montreal Protocol. That protocol, on which Australia played a leading role successfully curtailed the global use of CFCs to stop further damage to the ozone layer.

    In 2017 the United Nations Environment Assembly established an expert group (AHEG) to investigate the issues of marine plastics and microplastics pollution of the oceans. At the final meeting of the AHEG group concerns were expressed at the accelerating rate of plastic pollution, made worse by the COVID pandemic. Two thirds of UN members nations have indicated an interest in a global treaty and one quarter have gone further and urged that negotiations should begin on such a treaty.

    A global petition (www.plasticpollutiontreaty.org) has already gathered over 2 million signatures and the support of over 28 international corporations, many directly involved in plastics and packaging manufacture.

    Included in the Commonwealth National Plastics Plan (March 2021) was confirmation that Australia will support a new global agreement to address marine plastic pollution. The Commonwealth has already committed $100 M to a Pacific Litter initiative and will also work with Indonesia to assist with plastic waste and litter reductions.

    We will be working with other peak groups on the most effective contents of a treaty.


    Back to March 2021 Newsletter page >>

  • Plastic Free Places – Our 2021 Focus on Reusables

    Unfortunately, reusables took a nosedive in 2020.  This was largely due to a myth that BYO cups and containers spread coronavirus - there is no evidence for this. In 2021, we want to show that reuse is possible and more cost-beneficial than single-use to businesses and our communities.

    In January we worked with nine amazing cafes in Cairns, Townsville, Byron and Perth to supercharge and normalise the number of customers using reusables, culminating in #UseYourOwnCupDay on Friday 29 Jan.

    Each week, these cafe's tallied how many of their customers used reusable cups, with the goal to see the percentage of reusables increase each week as their awesome customers started to form the new habit of reuse.

    On ‘Use Your Own Cup Day’ we worked with them towards achieving the highest number reusable cups possible, which for some meant no takeaway coffees in single-use cups.


    There was a marked increase in the use of reusables for ALL cafes involved.


    Plastic Free Cairns with @blackbirdwarehouse

    The % of customers who had their drink in a reusable cup (includes dine-in figures):

    1. In week one, 55% of cups used at Blackbird were reusables.
    2. In week two, 56% were reusables.
    3. In week three, 63% were reusables.

    On ‘Use your own cup day’, 73% of customers used their own cup, borrowed a reusable cup or dined in.


    Plastic Free Townsville

    Increase in the number of reusable cups used, by comparing the last week of the campaign to the first:


    WA Plastic Free with @sondercoffeeperth

    The % of customers who brought their own cup (excludes dine-in figures):

    1. In week one, 17.5% of customers.
    2. In week two, 20.3% of customers.
    3. In week three, 2% of customers.

    On ‘Use your own cup day’, 100% of customers used their own cup or dined in.


    Plastic Free Byron with @buncoffee

    Whilst data was not gathered, Bun reported that a number of regular customers have made the switch across to reusables cups, eliminating their daily single-use habit. Not only this, but the number of customers bringing along their own jars when purchasing Bun’s on-site roasted coffee beans increased. Follow up from the campaign suggested very positive results amongst the community, with many more daily regulars converting from single-use to reusables as a consequence of the increased attention to this issue.


    We’ve been so blown away by the feedback, we’ll also be soon be offering the program to all of our PFP member cafes and are also developing a toolkit so cafes across Australia can follow suit. This will be available soon on our website www.plasticfreeplaces.org.


    Back to March 2021 Newsletter page >>

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