In the lead-up to the State election, NSW has the opportunity to lead Australia in reducing the plastic pollution of our environment...but it has some catching up to do.
While the introduction of NSW’s contemporary container deposit scheme has triggered almost universal adoption across Australia – with great community support nationwide – the ongoing recalcitrance in relation to banning plastic shopping bags has become an embarrassment, as the rest of the country leaps towards the elimination of this acknowledged source of plastic pollution; and doing more on single use plastics found in the litter stream.
'Plastic pollution of our oceans, waterways and the food chain are of great concern across the community,' said Jeff Angel, director of Boomerang Alliance.
'With so much plastic infesting our environment and its long life span, strong action to drastically reduce it, is essential. We are calling on all parties and candidates in the NSW election to adopt our policy proposals. It's not hard to set up new systems to avoid single use plastic or adopt alternatives - but the only way to achieve the necessary comprehensive action is through government regulation; and widespread business and consumer engagement. NSW should be a leader in this area.'
Boomerang Alliance proposes:
- Introduction of a ban on lightweight plastic bags in the first session of parliament after the March election. This must be based on best practice legislation and accompanied by a public education program (see Qld and WA policies, designed in consultation with Boomerang Alliance and the National Retailers Association)
- A comprehensive Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy with robust goals and a funded implementation plan, developed by an independent taskforce and initiated in the first 6 months of the next term
- Support for multi-jurisdictional action on the single-use plastic reduction agenda, including:
- Conclusion of a national policy banning thicker plastic bags;
- Upgrade the NSW CDS to include wine and other excluded drink containers;
- Implementation of financial disincentives for excess plastic packaging;
- Imposition of a microbead ban for all product categories;
- Establishment of mandated recycled content requirements in all packaging
- Embed policies at local, regional and state levels to phase out single-use takeaway plastics and deter use and procurement of excessive plastic packaging
- Support investment in and procurement policy for, reprocessed domestic recycled plastics.
- Opposition to waste to energy (WtE) projects – WtE IS NOT recycling! Instead, it represents toxic air pollution risks and a significant waste of valuable resources.
- Tangible support for communities to take control of their plastic footprint, assisting business, councils and events to reduce single use plastics, litter and waste.
- Strong advocacy at Environment Ministers’ meetings