The soft plastics producers and retailers are gearing up to propose a product stewardship scheme. Some useful research was released at the National Soft Plastics Summit on 25 September including about the use of special kerbside collections for household soft plastics to replace the failed REDcycle scheme.
But there is so much more to do to ensure there are mandatory standards for reuse, recycling, recycled content and alternative materials; and industry funding of the life cycle of the plastics to stop its environmental impacts, including redesign of products and recycling.
Boomerang Alliance has developed a producer stewardship scheme where the manufacturers and retailers cover the full costs for collecting and recycling their wasteful products. This system also makes manufacturers remove unnecessary packaging so that they don't have to pay for its collection.This is the approach now being taken in Europe.
The Commonwealth Government has promised a mandatory product stewardship scheme for 2025 and will shortly be releasing a consultation paper on its proposed model.
We need to make sure the community, not industry, drives the agenda in coming months.
CAN YOU HELP BY TAKING ACTION?
- Post your views on social media, tag the major supermarkets and use #softplasticsolution. Supermarkets are sensitive to customers' comments. You can also download the social media tile to use on your post.
- Ask your local supermarket manager why fresh fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic are cheaper than loose produce?
- Contact the brand owner of a product (their contact email is on the package) and ask what you are supposed to do with all the single use plastic packaging they are selling (even though the REDcycle logo is still on it!)
Stay tuned for more updates and action!