With a Commonwealth election looming, we have sent all the major parties our list of priorities for the next Parliament.
When you go to vote, we would ask that you consider these particular issues. They are important to address plastic pollution and solving our continuing waste problems. Three key asks are:
Sign the proposed international treaty on Marine Plastics
The good news is that 174 countries recently supported the development of this treaty. We have advocated for it to be in place by 2024 and enforceable with plastic reduction targets and targeting the entire plastic life cycle. The Australian Government should also provide funding to neighbouring countries to enable them to collect plastic litter, and importantly, have community industries that can recycle the plastic.
Introduce a mandatory Product Stewardship Scheme for Packaging
Much of the reason we have so much packaging, waste and litter is because industry promises to improve, are voluntary and not delivered. What we seek are mandatory targets to achieve the clear 2025 goals of the National Waste Plan with manufacturers responsible for making this happen. These targets include phasing out problem plastics; having most discarded plastics composted or recycled; and rules for recycled content. It’s an indictment on the voluntary approach that only 16% of plastic packaging is actually recycled.
Set National Standards for reusable, compostable and recyclable packaging
Did you know that labels claiming packaging is reusable, compostable, or recyclable does not mean these items are actually recovered - only that they potentially could be? We are seeking clear standards and labels on all of these packaging products that mean what they say; that is, the package is designed to be recovered and will have accessible collection followed by recovery for composting, recycling or reuse.
Prior to the election we will send an advisory of what the parties have told us.