It's been a busy quarter for Boomerang Alliance, as we move towards the end of a year that has heralded such enormous change around our favourite subject – plastic pollution! The momentum continues unabated, and as always, we have been at the vanguard of the movement, bringing an independent and informed voice to a diverse range of fora.
Much discussion has been seen in the wake of China's ban on plastic imports, which continues to bite across Australia. State and federal governments are seeking answers to address the crisis and among other initiatives, Boomerang Alliance was invited to take part in a series of consultation workshops in July, conducted by the University of Technology Sydney's Institute of Sustainable Futures, on behalf of the NSW Environment Protection Authority.
September also saw the launch of the Federal Government's expanded targets to reduce plastic packaging, accompanied by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation's (APCO) Australasian Recycling Label and the corresponding PREP Packaging Design tool. While we welcome these steps, questions arise around whether there is sufficient ambition to achieve the desired outcomes. (For more detail, check out our Latest News story)
We always welcome the opportunity to participate in and contribute to these discussions, and we see our role evolving to one of greater collaboration in finding the right solutions, now that the world is finally coming around to our way of thinking. There are plenty of 'traps for young players' along the way, but our long history of dealing with these issues means we are ideally placed to support those embarking on the path and seeking to achieve genuinely positive outcomes and we look forward to sharing our knowledge across an increasingly engaged stakeholder audience.
While the pace remains relatively slow, there are encouraging signs across the spectrum, but we can't take our eyes off the prize. Community mobilisation and campaigning remain the core of our activities and with the help of our loyal supporters, Boomerang Alliance will continue to drive ambitious objectives, call for robust policy measures to improve our resource efficiency and above all, ensure that our environment receives the consideration it deserves.
Jayne Paramor - Deputy Director of Boomerang Alliance
NATURES ORGANICS: FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
At the end of April, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg announced 'all packaging would be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025'. And while considered an ambitious target by some, Natures Organics CEO Justin Dowel regards the push as farcical!
'It is a joke, to be honest,' he declared. 'Why are talking about 'recyclable?' Most plastics are recyclable! The problem is, we're not recycling most of the plastic. What we need to be doing is setting targets for recycled plastic, not recyclable. There's no point recycling if we have no use for recycled.
BA spoke with Justin Dowel about his family-owned enterprise, manufacturing environmentally sound cosmetic and cleaning brands including Australian Pure, Organic Care and Earth Choice.
JUSTIN FIELD, GREENS: 'NSW ENVIRO PLATFORM A JOKE!'
Hitting the beach with his two year-old son Banjo, NSW Greens MP Justin Field had a horrifying realization. 'I grew up on the beach picking up shells,' he recalls, 'but my son, he picks up plastic. And that is the difference in one generation.'
The Greens NSW member for legislative council, Justin is the spokesperson for fair trade finance, small business, trade, treasury and sport. But ultimately, his passion resides in the health of the marine environment. Taking a square aim at the laughable Berejiklian environmental platform while also lambasting 'disappointing' Malcolm Turnbull, Justin gave his take on Labour's eco promises and the Green's ever-growing parliamentary influence.
WAR ON WASTE: WHAT CAN AUSTRALIA LEARN FROM NORWAY?
Norway is often billed as a guiding light in the international war on plastic waste.
With their container deposit scheme frequently reported as ‘the best in the world’, thanks to an often quoted 97 per cent recycling rate (based on 598, 355, 791 bottles and containers recycled in 2016*) the international community is training their focus on the Scandinavian nation in an attempt to replicate this success.
BA spoke to Atle Hamar, State Secretary for the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment to learn if we can learn something from the land of the midnight sun and the birthplace of TOMRA reverse vending technology
|Words: Stephen Milton Design: Rianti Bieler
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