The Boomerang Alliance has welcomed the tabling of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017 into the Queensland Parliament today as one of the most important environment protection measures in a generation. The bill legislates a ban on lightweight plastics bags and the introduction of a Container Refund Scheme, both in 2018.
The combination of a ban on bags, a refund on cans and bottles and associated public litter awareness will make Queensland a cleaner, safer and more resource-efficient state.
The Parliament needs to pass the legislation as soon as practical to allow the timely introduction of both measures in July 2018.
View our Media Release HERE
The next few weeks are critical for increasing community pressure on the three states that are yet to commit to a ban on single use plastic bags before the annual environment ministers meeting held at the end of June.
We need your continued support to help increase community pressure on New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria to ensure that all Australian states commit to a ban. As part of our accelerating campaign in the runup to the meeting:
Please join the Twitter Storm on Tuesday 23 May (World Turtle Day) from 12pm till 1pm AEST.
A twitter storm is a tweet event where many people post at the same time on a topic using a designated hashtag in order to make the hashtag trend. This will be noticed by the state Premiers and also help spread the message through social media.
Please do not 'retweet' but instead copy/paste the suggested tweets or make up your own with #BanTheBag and #NoMoreExcuses hashtags and @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP and @DanielAndrewsMP. You can also attach pictures on littered bags.
The suggested tweets are:
The community is ready. Australia needs to #BanTheBag #NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP
Australia needs to #BanTheBag #NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP
We need to protect our oceans! It's time to #BanTheBag #NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP
#NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP We demand a ban on plastic bags! #BanTheBag
#NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP Stop killing our oceans! It's time to #BanTheBag
Do the right thing @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP #NoMoreExcuses #BanTheBag
Step up and #BanTheBag @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP #NoMoreExcuses
Plastic kills – help protect our oceans now! It's time to #BanTheBag #NoMoreExcuses @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP
Don't pass the buck @GladysB @MarkMcGowanMP @DanielAndrewsMP #BanTheBag
Communities Taking Control - Wollongong Taskforce. If you wish to be involved in reducing single-use plastics across the entire Wollongong community please join the taskforce! We are looking to introduce our plan to Wollongong during Plastic Free July this year however information in the lead up will be send out with details on how you can get involved, including volunteering opportunities, information nights and links to printout materials to engage with local businesses. An overview of the Campaign can be found here.
For those looking to play a more active role in the development of the initiative, email andy.gray[at]boomerangalliance.org.au for more information.Sign up
As part of our campaign and to help increase political pressure we are asking you to write a letter to a newspaper editor of your choice.
Please express your concerns about the dangers of single use plastic bags. By spreading our message and adding a personal touch - you will make a difference!
If you have not written a letter to the editor before - here's a few helpful hints to get you started:
> Look up published Letters to the Editor in your chosen newspaper. This is a fantastic way to gauge the writing styles that appeal to that paper's editor.
> You should also check to see if the newspaper has guidelines for length and other various aspects.
> Use a personal story or illustration to explain why NSW, VIC and WA should ban the bag.
For more information and helpful hints on how to write a letter to the editor, head here. Let us know if your letter has been published and we will share it on social media.
It’s time to take action. NSW, VIC and WA need to adopt this positive protection measure and save countless marine animals!
QUEENSLAND’S CONTAINER REFUND SCHEME Launched 1st November 2018. FOR INFORMATION ON HOW TO GET INVOLVED, PLEASE CONTACT COEX (Container Exchange) on 13 42 42 or visit https://www.containersforchange.com.au/.
On September 5th 2017, we welcomed the unanimous passage of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill through the Queensland Parliament, which confirmed a Container Refund Scheme (CRS) for Queensland.
This policy represents the most significant litter and plastic pollution measures introduced into Queensland in generations. It's a great leap forward for litter reduction, recycling and collection (and the jobs that go with this) and for community organisations who can make money from collecting bottles and cans.
Under the Container Refund Scheme, eligible beverage containers are worth 10c each. This presents a significant opportunity for community groups to raise additional funds through the collection and return of containers
The Queensland Scheme is called 'Containers for Change' and is operated by Container Exchange, a not-for-profit entity set up by the beverage industry.
You can learn more about how the scheme works, find where you can redeem containers and which containers are eligible, and how you can get involved at the Containers for Change website.
Your hard work is paying off! NSW, QLD, ACT and WA all have committed to introduce a deposit scheme on bottles and cans in the years to come. We now need your support to get Victoria to join them. It doesn't matter if you live in another state, taking action today will help protect our wonderful oceans and clean up Australia.Read more
The Boomerang Alliance has disclosed a leaked excerpt of an internal report to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) showing misleading plastic packaging recycling rates. The APC is an industry sponsored initiative which has been used by the beverage industry to counteract the push for cash for containers.Read more
Did you know that a tyre dump on fire can burn for months and even years, spewing toxic pollution into the air? Tyres are also the perfect habitat for disease carrying mosquitos, and have been implicated in the spread of dengue and ross river fever. Tyres are recognised internationally as one of the most hazardous wastes.
Until recently the used tyres from our cars and trucks were dumped either in Australia or in developing countries in Asia where they were often burnt in primitive incinerators. We estimate over 48 million tyres have been dumped in Australian bushland or in abandoned warehouses (which often catch fire in suspicious circumstances), contributing to a poor recycling rate of 16%. Baled used tyres were also being exported to Asia, causing significant pollution and disease problems.
The reasons why Australia has had such a low recycling rate include lax laws, disinterested retailers, undercutting of legit recyclers by rogue operators, and the absence of any product stewardship scheme (despite being promised one in 1990!).
So Boomerang undertook an intensive campaign during 2013-15 by active investigations, applying market pressure and lobbying ministers and regulators. We uncovered numerous examples of illegal activity, in particular breaching of fire safety rules and planning consents. Rogue tyre collectors and so-called recyclers often simply ignore safe procedures and rarely have insurance or even fire hydrants. This allows them to undercut the charges of genuine and safe recyclers. Over a five year period the rogues and their cheap disposal options (dumping or export) actually drove several legit Australian recyclers out of business.
To end this we have worked with the Australian Tyre Recyclers Association (ATRA) to clean up their members and adopt independent, monthly auditing.
We have also pressured the tyre dealers (such as Bridgestone) to only send their used tyres to genuine and safe recyclers. To their credit they have instituted a rigorous audit program of their stores and insisted on only using proven collectors and recyclers. Groups like Bob Jane were already compliant, and other retailers soon joined in. It was great to see market intervention by an NGO working so well to make rapid changes.
Unfortunately Australian Governments had dropped the ball on regulating the industry. They had weak rules and made minimal compliance effort. We pressed NSW, Victoria and Queensland to get tough on the industry. Over the last year we have seen new laws come into operation and hundreds of inspections by environment protection, local council and fire safety officers (and many fines and clean up orders).
As a result of our campaign, tyre recycling grew to almost 50% over 18 months building green business. The Australian government also launched Tyre Stewardship Australia, an industry sponsored scheme. It has some serious teething problems and we are insisting they implement high standards before accrediting recyclers and retailers to use their logo and claim environmental credentials. The Australian government is in the process of banning export of used tyres by 2021 with the strong support from ATRA and Boomerang.
We have also produced “Tyre Life, a comprehensive guide to managing Australian tyres’, the most thorough report on used tyre stewardship yet. It sets the standards the community and the environment deserve (you can find it at www.tyrelife.org.au).
It’s been a great success so far, but over coming years we’ll continue to watchdog the industry, regulators and Tyre Stewardship Australia.
With an outburst of community support, Boomerang Alliance won the Cash for Containers campaign in NSW, Queensland, ACT and WA! We are also working on an effective plastic ban bag across Australia and other actions to stop plastic pollution.
Start monthly donations today and together we will fight to keep pollution out of our streets, our bushlands and our oceans (every donation $2 and over is tax deductible).
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