The release of the Plastics and Waste Policies will move the state into a new era of pollution reduction and recycling.Read more
What has South Australia, Queensland, the ACT, Western Australia and Victoria done – that NSW hasn’t? Ban single use plastic items that are polluting our environment and killing marine life. We haven’t even banned lightweight plastic bags when every other state and territory took action years ago!Read more
The failure of NSW to have a policy to reduce plastic pollution and waste will be under the spotlight at today’s Parliamentary hearing into the Plastics Reduction Bill.Read more
Major supermarket chains and multinational brands are among more than 60 organisations to sign up to a long-awaited pact to reduce plastic waste across Australia and the region.Read more
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is launching the ANZPAC Plastic Pact today, a collaborative collaborative solution that brings together key players behind a shared vision of a circular economy for plastic, where plastic never becomes waste or pollution. It aims to share knowledge, investment and industry led innovation to implement solutions tailored to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands region.Read more
Most States and Territories in Australia having passed laws or proposed laws to reduce their single use plastics. Tasmania is one of the few exceptions.
Boomerang Alliance asked the three major parties about their policies on a container deposit scheme with a return rate above 90%, and their plans to ban certain takeaway single-use plastics.
The good news is that all parties support the introduction of a container refund scheme in 2022, although only the Greens would commit to setting a target for returns above 90% (Worlds Best Practice is 95%)
On curbing reducing problem single use plastics, all parties have promised to act, introduce a long-term plastics reduction plan, with the Greens the only party to specifically commit to introducing bans on problem plastics.
With the Commonwealth and all State/Territory Governments agreeing to phase out problematic and unnecessary single use plastics by 2025 (Meeting of Environment Ministers Communique 15 April 2021), we expect the next Tasmanian Parliament to catch up with the rest of Australia.
We look forward to a container refund scheme being introduced in 2022 AND Tasmania needs to ban problematic single-use plastics such as straws, cutlery and containers.
Commonwealth, State and Territory Environment Ministers have, at last, formally supported the phase-out certain single use, problem plastics. Their list for phase-out includes lightweight plastics bags, oxo-degradable plastics, straws, cutlery and expanded polystyrene packaging and containers and plastic microbeads before 2025. (MEM Communique 15 April 2021)Read more
The Victorian Government’s decision on how the state’s container deposit system (CDS) will operate is a good and wise decision, the Boomerang Alliance of 53 NGOs said today.
"We congratulate the government for listening to the community and rejecting the disinformation campaign by the big bottlers, Coke and Lion, their lobby group VicRecyle and Planet Ark. Everyone should now move on and work together on the key metrics like recycling targets, involvement of charities and the most accessible collection points for consumers to get their 10c refunds,’’ said Jeff Angel, Director of the Alliance.
"Our research into the various types of schemes here in Australia and overseas shows that the chosen "split responsibility" model (Coordinator and Network Operators) is best practise. It sets up the right allocation of responsibilities so that the system can grow, be accountable, accessible and deliver multiple benefits for decades. It’s based on the NSW approach where there has been very significant involvement of charities and small businesses; billions of drink containers returned; and very accessible refund points," Mr Angel said.
"The Boomerang Alliance has been campaigning for Australia to be entirely covered by container deposit schemes and today’s announcement fully achieves this. In fact Australia is the first continent on the planet to do this. There will be remarkable environmental, employment, recycling and charity benefits."
Whilst key design elements and collection arrangements are still to be worked out, the announced scheme means that:
- Responsibility for the scheme is split between the government, the beverage industry and a container collection network (still to be determined)
- Victorians will be able to redeem a 10 cent refund on every plastic, glass or aluminium drink container from 2023
- Container litter will be slashed and recycling significantly increased
- Community organisations will be able to fundraise by collecting cans and bottles
The Boomerang Alliance of 53 national, state and local NGOs has called on political parties in the Tasmanian Election to commit to the introduction of bans on problem single use plastics and develop greater recycling.
"Tasmania made a great start with its commitment to a best practise container deposit scheme (CDS) and was the second state to introduce a ban of lightweight plastics bags in 2013. With plastic pollution an ever growing environmental threat – the state needs to take the next big steps’’, said Jeff Angel, Director of the Alliance.
"Tasmania should not be the last State to ban problem single-use plastic takeaway items. However time is running out as other mainland states are moving quickly. It’s a natural move as Tassie has an enviable reputation as a green and healthy island."
"Plastic bans are popular in the community and will change business and consumer practices and significantly reduce plastic litter and waste. This election is the opportunity to put things right, to change plastics habits and reduce plastic litter and waste, once and for all. We want to see all political parties include these measures in their election policies."
- Five States and Territories have banned or plan to ban plastic takeaway items. NSW is likely soon. That leaves Tasmania and the NT to act.
- According to latest Clean Up Australia data for Tasmania, 41% of all litter was beverage and takeaway food packaging.
Our policy asks for the next Parliament:
- Introduce a container deposit scheme on schedule with a declared return target of 90% + within 3 years.
- Develop a long-term Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy for the State that addresses single-use plastics in the home, away from home, in agriculture, business and industry and the marine environment.
- Implement by mid-2022, laws to prohibit the supply of identified single use plastic takeaway items. Specifically plastic straws, cutlery, coffee cups/lids, cups and containers and heavyweight plastic bags. Other items such as plastic stems on cotton buds and other problem plastics should be included.
- Enact laws to ban the release of helium balloons for non-scientific purposes and prevent the supply of helium at retail level for event and recreational balloon purposes.
- Increase funding for community litter clean ups and citizen science projects on plastics and litter.
- Make all government sponsored public events plastic-free.
- Promote the uptake of reusable foodware in takeaway and food services.
- Adopt targets for recycled content in government procurement and ensure certified standards for reusable and compostable food ware are adhered to.
In an historic decision, the Queensland Parliament unanimously passed the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Plastic Items) Amendment Bill 2020 today to ban certain single use plastics from use.
‘From 1 September 2021 plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and bowls and expanded polystyrene cups and containers will be banned,’ said Toby Hutcheon from the Boomerang Alliance
‘These are amongst the most littered items in Queensland with the most recent Clean Up Australia Report for QLD estimating that over 30% of all litter collected was plastic packaging.’
‘Queensland is the second State in Australia to introduce laws to ban single-use plastics. We congratulate the State Government on introducing this bill.’
‘We also acknowledge the LNP and the Greens who have actively supported the legislation. The bans are supported by all the major hospitality and retail industry sectors and APCO who represent the beverage and packaging sector. ‘
Major fast food and retail chains have already stopped or are about to stop supplying these items as part of the global push to reduce marine plastic pollution.
The Boomerang Alliance Plastic Free Places program, which has been active in Noosa, Cairns and Townsville, has demonstrated that cafes and events are willing and able to switch to non-plastic or reusable or certified compostable alternatives.
A 2019 IPSOS poll found that 69% of Australians supported a ban on single-use plastics. 94% of submissions about the new laws in QLD supported a ban.
The Queensland Government intends to add other plastic items such as coffee cups/lids, other plastic takeaway items and heavyweight plastic bags after further investigation.