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.