It's been called The Toxic Tide
In 2017, the UN Environment Programme acknowledged the growing body of research highlighting Marine Plastic Pollution as a significant problem on a global scale. It has widescale economic, social and environmental impacts. Business, government and the community need to find solutions and Boomerang Alliance was at the vanguard of that movement, as always...
Australia's first Conference focused on reducing Marine Plastic Pollution in the Asia-Pacific region - Beyond Plastic Pollution: Pathways to Cleaner Oceans - took place at Darling Harbour in Sydney from October 30th to November 1st 2017. Bringing together business, government, science, academia and community, Beyond Plastic Pollution sought new pathways to cleaner oceans learning about the latest research, testing the best solutions and encouraging diverse interests to work together.
The conference was also a collaboration with The Plasticity Forum, which presented Plasticity Sydney on Tuesday, October 31st.
Covering global best practice regulations on circular economy models, techniques for reducing plastic footprints in business and industry, new technologies and alternative materials and strategies to drive a plastic-free pathway at the community level, delegates were presented with a broad overview of the issue and the solutions that are emerging across the world, from leading advocates and stakeholders heavily involved in the task of reducing plastic inputs into the environment.
Speakers included the UN Environment Program; International, Commonwealth and State Environment Ministers, senior figures from local government, captains of industry, highly respected contributors from the scientific and academic communities and influential environmental advocates, combining to deliver a richly informative and highly diverse programme which included keynotes, panel discussions, practical workshops, real-world case studies, an innovation showcase.
After two and a half days of intense discussion on how to address the issue, the audience went away invigorated to keep up the fight to address the issue of marine plastic pollution and the results have been dramatic. We continue to see inroads being made on a daily basis, but Boomerang Alliance believes that everyone can do more, so we will continue working to drive better outcomes for our oceans and marine life.
We are currently planning the next conference, so watch this space for more details and if you are interested in working with us to deliver another inspirational event, please get in touch - you can email us with your thoughts, ideas or comments at [email protected]
After a rigorous tender process the NSW Government has announced the appointment of Exchange for Change (big 5 beverage companies) as the Coordinator (CO) and Tomra/Cleanaway as the only NSW Network Operator (NO) for the NSW CDS. In general it is a robust arrangement with substantial contracts and penalties for non-performance and we now look forward to the CDS starting operation on 1 December 2017.Read more
At the last meeting of environment ministers the issue of removing plastic bags from the litter stream and marine environment was discussed. Since that time the need for a ban and significantly reducing the landfilling of plastic has become even more urgent.
There is increasing evidence that even though a small percentage of bags are littered and then broken up into smaller and smaller pieces – they have a devastating impact on the environment. This includes so called ‘biodegradable’ bags, which are just as dangerous in the marine environment.
With the CSIRO Marine Debris Report 2014 estimating there are over 124 billion individual pieces of visible plastic littering the Australian coastline – and a large legacy of plastic from previous years becoming microplastic – action needs to be taken on multiple fronts.
Plastic pollution is a major threat to wildlife. Globally it is estimated that 1 million sea birds and over 100,000 mammals die every year as a result of plastic ingestion or entanglement. Of great concern are the secondary microplastics derived from broken up bags and bottles.
The CSIRO suggest that ‘by 2050 ‘99% of all sea birds will have plastic in their gut’. In Queensland, research conducted by the UQ Research Station on Stradbroke Island has concluded that 30% of sea turtles deaths in Moreton Bay are attributable to plastic ingestion, with a further 6% due to entanglement.
As our understanding of the threat of marine plastic pollution improves – the impacts are being rapidly upgraded – most recently, in September this year, Queensland University expanded on CSIRO’s previous estimates in the Scientific Journal ‘Global Change Biology’ concluding that “over half of the world’s sea turtles have eaten plastic or human rubbish”.
Recent data released by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service found that over 70% of loggerhead turtles found dead in Queensland waters have ingested plastic.
We estimate that some 180million bags enter the Australian environment every year (2% of consumption).
We are calling on Environment Ministers to take action and ban single use plastic bags.
The Senate is currently conducting an inquiry into the threat of marine plastic pollution in Australia. This is the opportunity for the community, either as individuals or groups, to provide important feedback on the way plastic pollution impacts marine life and to highlight your concerns by reflecting on your own experiences.Read more
Are you aware that the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee is currently holding an inquiry into the Register of Environmental Organisations and will hold a public hearing in Sydney later in the year? The inquiry will determine whether organisations will be able to continue to receive tax-deductible donations to advocate for the protection of nature.Read more