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.