In the last two months our campaign for a Cash for Containers scheme in Queensland has gone out to the regions, with much fanfare. Our key supporters, Surfrider Foundation, in particular, has picked up the mantle and made a big noise. With Surfider running the show, we have launched the campaign and our Queensland Plastic Pollution Report.
These have been genuine community events, including beach clean ups and the opportunity for others to have their say. As a result, we have received fantastic support from Scouts, many local church groups and individuals keen to see an end to litter.
The attraction of container deposits is that it’s a huge benefit for all. We know that it will mean at least a 50% decrease in litter and an 80% + recycling rate. What is increasingly emerging is the community group benefit. Scouts in South Australia have an annual income from container deposits of $40 million! Wouldn’t it be great to see community groups in Queensland being able to access that sort of revenue?
So the message is clear we want our local politicians-State and local -to get behind the campaign.
Barefoot Wines have also been involved. Its great to have business getting behind the campaign.
As a representative of Wildlife Queensland I also went to Yeppoon to support the local plastic bag free group. They have won the support of both the local Livingstone Shire Council and State MP Brittany Lauga for a plastic bag ban. Livingstone has also thrown their support behind container deposits.
The Parliamentary petition arranged by Plastic Bag Free Livingstone received nearly 3000 signatures and will be presented to the Queensland Parliament soon by Brittany Lauga MP. Wildlife Queensland also instigated a number of headlines on helium balloon releases. The story surrounded the giving away of 30,000 helium balloons at the EKKA and got the front page of the Courier Mail. The positives are that these releases will now be included in a plastics discussion paper to be released at the end of the year.
Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles recently had his own on-line survey on container deposits. The Minister reports that he received over 2000 responses, with 99% support for container deposits.
Finally I was please to attend the opening of the Boomerang Bags warehouse in Burleigh on the Gold Coast. The event was attended by well over 200 people and featured a fantastic waste and marine pollution trivia night by Anthony Hill. Boomerang bags work with local communities and shopping centres to provide alternatives to plastic bags. The alternatives made in the warehouse from discarded materials
Thanks for all your support.