Coronavirus aside we still need urgent and effective action to address plastic pollution, and Boomerang Alliance intends to continue its campaigning. It is important that governments act to reduce the spread and contain the virus, and, it's equally important that they act on plastics. Next year, we hope the virus will be a thing of the past, unfortunately plastic pollution won't be.
The Plastic Round Up: What's been happening around the country to reduce Single-Use Plastics
The good news is that a number of State and Territory Governments are starting to act. As a result, we expect some States and Territories to have brought in legislation or planned legislation by the end of 2020, to phase-out certain single use plastic takeaway items. It's not enough but it is a start.
Here's our round up of what happening state-by state.
South Australia is introducing legislation to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery, including polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and containers. Assuming the legislation is passed, these items will be banned from 2021.
The Australian Capital Territory has similar legislation to ban plastic cutlery, stirrers and polystyrene food and beverage containers by 2021 and, within 12 months of the legislation, barrier bags, oxo-degradable products and plastic straws.
Queensland proposes legislation to ban plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates and following further analysis, coffee cups, cups and heavyweight plastic bags. Assuming legislation is passed, straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates will be banned from 2021
New South Wales has just released a Public Discussion Paper Cleaning Up Our Act: Redirecting the Future of Plastics in NSW. The paper signals that, at last, the government is seeking to ban lightweight plastic bags. Otherwise the paper seeks public views of what action the government should be taking including the phase-out of single use plastics
Victoria is starting to catch up with other States having recently introduced a plastic bag ban and now announced a container deposit scheme for 2023. A Sustainability Strategy was recently introduced but it remains unclear what the government intends to do about single use plastics
Western Australia has banned lightweight plastic bags and introduced a container deposit scheme. In 2019 a Lets not draw the short straw Discussion Paper was published that asked for public views on banning single use plastics. Nothing has been announced on single use plastics since.
Tasmania introduced a plastic bag ban in 2013 and now plans a container deposit scheme by 2023. Apart from the city of Hobart which is planning to ban single use plastic takeaway items this year, the State Government has not announced any intended action.
Northern Territory has a ban on lightweight plastic bags and a container deposit scheme. The Territory was an early adopter on both measures. We are not aware of any further measures on single use plastics by the government.
Boomerang Alliance is encouraged by the policies of South Australia, ACT and Queensland. Our campaign is aimed at getting the best possible legislation in place and urgently lobbying all other jurisdictions to follow suit. We want single use plastics, starting with the most littered takeaway items, banned as soon as possible right across Australia.
We appreciate all your support in our campaigns for zero plastic pollution.