Our aim is the introduction of legislation and financial supports to solve Australia's plastic pollution problems – creating a 'circular economy'. Action needs to be mainstream – not pilots and case studies that work at the edge of society and the economy.
Like many jurisdictions around the world, Australia has committed to a target of all plastic packaging being either reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025. Achieving this means focusing on avoiding and reducing unnecessary single use plastics; and reusing, composting or recycling the rest. The landfilling, incineration or energy recovery of plastic wastes is rejected by Boomerang and key experts and jurisdictions as part of a circular economy approach.
- A strengthened Product Stewardship Act 2011 to specifically address plastic packaging and mandate national targets.
- Addressing greenwash labelling to ensure that all packaging labelled as reusable, compostable or recyclable will be reused, composted or recycled in practice and at scale.
- The phase-out of problematic and unnecessary plastics by supporting best practice legislation by state and territory jurisdictions, and continue the process, through continuous improvement, to deal with other problem plastics.
- A ban on the export of waste plastics, but coupled with the provision of Commonwealth and State investment in modernised composting and recycling facilities, and the setting of consistent recycled content procurement policies in all Australian jurisdictions.
- Ensuring circular economy principles, and practices are applied, in all national and state/territory waste polies and programs.
- The banning of plastic packaging from landfill, incinerators and waste-to-energy facilities before 2025 in all jurisdictions.
- Pressuring all jurisdictions to apply effective and consistent waste avoidance and resource recovery practices. This includes a particular focus on effective plastic bag bans (New South Wales and updating older laws in other states and addressing thicker bags) and best practice container refund schemes (Victoria and Tasmania).
- The introduction of a national/state-engaged Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan to address single use plastics in the home, away from home, in agriculture, in business and industry and in the marine environment, including a strategy of continuous improvement.
- Fund research into the extent, sources and impacts of plastics/micro-plastics on the environment and human and wildlife health. This should include the establishment of citizen science programs that add to scientific understanding and litter data collection.
- Increase funding support for marine and litter clean-ups. Support Commonwealth direct involvement and resourcing of global initiatives that reduce plastic use and litter generation. Assist regional neighbours with litter clean-up activities and economic development programs centred on plastics recovery and recycling.