Stephen Milton

  • 5 key measures to build a sustainable industry

    Thanks to an overwhelming reliance on ‘go-slow’ review processes and voluntary action, Australia's strategy for a sustainable future is leaving us behind the rest of the world - economically and environmentally.

    The situation is now critical, as Asian markets for Australian recyclable material are closing down. And as leading economies move to secure resources through new domestic capabilities in recycling and reprocessing, Australia has to drastically fill its recycling gap.

    And with just weeks to the Federal Election - with focus on mid-May but date TBC - Boomerang Alliance and Australian Council of Recycling has released a set of key measures to ensure tightening and enhancement of a National Waste Policy that will deliver economic value, jobs and environment protection.

    Credit: Shutterbox

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  • ALP Recycling and Waste Policy is a start...but needs more bite

    Over the weekend, Bill Shorten proudly announced Labor's recycling and waste strategy.

    Under the proposed legislation, an ALP Federal Government will introduce national bans on lightweight, single-use plastic bags by 2021.

    Microbeads will also be outlawed in a bill designed to protect vulnerable wildlife and reduce the amount of waste generated.

    'Plastic has a devastating impact on our natural environment - more than a third of the world's sea turtles were found to have plastic waste in their stomachs, and it is estimated around 90 per cent of seabirds eat plastic waste,' a joint statement read from the Opposition Leader, Labor Senators Penny Wong and Kim Carr and environment spokesman Tony Burke.

    Additional initiatives include 'a national container deposit scheme, a $60 million national recycling fund and $15 million to help neighbouring countries clean up the Pacific Ocean.'

    And along with the appointment of a national waste commissioner, Labor would set mandatory targets for all government departments to purchase products made out of recycled materials.

    This would include seeking to ensure all major roads funded by the Federal government contained recycled products.

    Credit: Ben Mierement, NOAA NOS

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  • published Newsletter September 2018 - SnapBack 2018-09-25 12:26:41 +1000


    Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2018

    Our Facebook photo competition SnapBack, encouraging our supporters and environmentally conscious consumers to name and shame retailers and producers for unnecessary plastic packaging, was a huge success and resulted in a highly publicised feature in Guardian Australia.

    To mark the launch of our plastic packaging campaign in May, Boomerang Alliance launched SnapBack, a Facebook promotion to encourage our supporters to engage and take a stand against the tidal wave of needless plastic packaging.

    Taking a photograph of the offending product and tagging the retailer and location, Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, IGA, Harris Farm Markets and others found their questionable packaging practices under the spotlight.

    Flooded with images from those fed up with this packaging epidemic, the worst examples included apples in plastic tubing, shampoo bottles wrapped in plastic and individually encased apple avocados.

    The garish exhibition was so arresting, Guardian Australia ran an entire online feature dedicated to the efforts of our followers and supporters in July.

    Earning a huge response on social media, the photographic article did exactly what we set out to do – highlight the issue of unnecessary plastic packaging and inspire retailers to upend their merchandising.

    These images in turn, painted a confronting backdrop for Boomerang Alliance’s The Future of Plastic Packaging forum in July where industry leaders and environmental groups converged in Sydney to discuss the solutions to the ever-increasing problems with plastic packaging.


    Back to Boomerang Alliance Newsletter - September 2018

  • Seabin Project: Breathing life into the oceans

    Pete Ceglinski, CEO and co-founder, Seabin Project

    Disillusioned by the rising level of plastic waste in the waters off Perth, Pete Ceglinski felt compelled to find a solution. And together with close friend Andrew Turton, they hit upon with a simple idea – a rubbish bin for the water.

    Constructed from reclaimed polyethylene ocean debris, the Seabin is an effective model – a floating bin fitted with a five-litre mesh bag attached to a pump which sucks in waste and filters out debris-free water.

    Placed in a marina, harbour or any waterway with a calm environment, one seabin has the extraordinary capacity to capture 500 kilos of debris annually including 90,000 shopping bags; 50,000 plastic bottles and 35,000 disposable coffee cups.

    Additionally, it can catch cigarette butts, plastic particles and microplastics as little as 2mm in size. 

    And currently in development, the invention should soon be equipped to trap microfibres. 

    A successful Crowdfund campaign at the end of 2015 lead to manufacture and distribution operations in Palma, Mallorca. The Seabin was tested in a pilot trial in the waters off French coastal resort, Le Grande Motte on the Cote D'Azur and after a introductory video went viral with over 10 million views, orders flooded in from locations throughout the Mediterranean before spreading to the rest of Europe and North America.

    And now with orders tapped for waterways in Sydney and Melbourne, the Seabin is finally coming home. 

    Armed with an ambitious ten-year plan including developments in scientific research with their not-for-profit Share Programme, Ceglinski ultimately envisions a direct assault on open water pollution with eventual designs on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

    And while critics have voiced their reservations, branding the model 'gimmicky', the CEO has shrugged off the naysayers. 

    "We’re not telling you that the Seabin is going to save the ocean, when it’s not. It’s just going to clean up some of the mess we put in it.”

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