Major breakthrough in packaging waste crisis

Environment groups today hailed the decision by Australia's environment ministers to regulate how packaging is used and produced as the first substantial and meaningful step to turn the corner after 20 years of failed voluntary programs, pollution and waste.

This is absolutely the right decision and key first step to tackle the growing waste and plastic pollution harming the oceans and climate. Mandatory standards for recycled content and targets are essential to create the economic rationale for new recycling and reprocessing plants. New rules to minimise wasteful packaging will also help tackle the plastic waste and pollution tidal wave projected by the UN and at the recent Paris meeting on an international plastic pollution treaty.

This first step will, of course need to be followed up by a comprehensive product stewardship scheme where industry is required to fund collection and recycling programs, avoiding the mistakes of the failed REDcycle approach. A growing focus for Boomerang Alliance will be reusables as there is a lot of untapped potential to reduce our individual and collective plastic footprints.

Boomerang and our allied groups will be watching the detailed development of the design standards and larger scheme closely and providing ongoing contributions.