There are exciting developments around the country when it comes to new laws to reduce Single Use Plastics (the bad SUPs). Boomerang's Allies and other activists met via phone link up to share news.
South Australia, ACT and Queensland are all close to announcing or introducing legislation. We need to support these efforts and encourage other jurisdictions to follow suit. The NSW Government have just published their NSW Plastics Plan Discussion Paper—Cleaning Up Our Act: Redirecting the Future of Plastic in NSW and want your input as they develop legislation. See below for some of the questions they are asking you.
The first SUPs the lead states will be saying good bye to include:
- Plastic straws (with exemptions for medical use eg you will be able to buy them from chemists)
- Polystyrene cups and takeaway containers
- Plastic cutlery and stirrers
The other items Boomerang Alliance wants to see go in Phase 1 are:
- Plastic plates, bowls and cups
- Balloons and balloon sticks
Our Phase 2 target items:
- Coffee cups
- Thicker/ heavier weight plastic bags
- Wet wipes
- Barrier bags (used for dry goods)
- Sauce sachets
- Cigarette butts (a huge area!)
We will be encouraging and promoting alternative products eg reusable items first and then home compostable (to standard AS5810) and commercially compostable (AS4736) products and exposing “greenwash” ie, when products claim to be good for the environment when they actually are not.
Big news – tucked in on page 14 of the 30-page NSW Plastic Plan:
We intend to phase out lightweight plastic shopping bags (less than 35 microns think, including those made of 'degradable' and 'compostable' plastic) and are considering doing so within 6 months from passage of legislation (while avoiding the Christmas and New Year period).
Hip hip hooray!! Many people have spent years pushing for this – Plastic Bag Free NSW, Sophia Skarparis, Boomerang Allies and Greenpeace in particular. Take a bow!
Selected questions NSW wants to ask YOU:
- Why is it hard to use less plastic?
- How can the NSW government make it easier to use less plastic?
- How can business make it easier to use less plastic?
- Do you support the phase out of the listed plastic items and materials?
- Are there other plastics that should be phased out?
Don’t miss the chance to have your say! Deadline is 5pm on 8 May 2020
LEARNER AND PROVISIONAL PLATES UPDATE
As the NSW Dept of Transport seeks to avoid its role in L and P plate plastic litter - they recently advised us:
"The current plastic L and P plates are made from recyclable material, and are classified as Code 6 recyclable plastic. I am pleased to advise Transport for NSW is investigating alternative materials for L and P plates. The options include using a more durable material, so fewer plates are used over the tenure of a learner/provisional licence holder, and more environmentally friendly material." (8/2/20)
Saying the plates are ‘recyclable' is greenwash! That doesn’t mean they are collected for recycling or aren't treated as contamination and go to landfill. We won't let them off the hook.
A Year 12 TAS (Technical and Applied Studies) Student from Penrith area has contacted us as he is working on an improved design. He is active in the Youth Parliament and calling for change. Go Connor!
It's not too late to sign our petition to the NSW Government calling for change to stop this government issued plastic pollution. Pick up lost L & P plates and post them to your local State MP or the relevant Minister (address on petition page).