'At least 8 million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean every year. By 2025 the oceans will contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish and by 2050 more plastic than fish' - Joint EM Foundation/World Economic Forum Report Davos 2016
Globally 95% of all plastic packaging is used once and then wasted, often as litter. In Australia we recycle 9% of plastic (with just 16% of plastic packaging recovered). The CSIRO reports that 'three-quarters of the marine debris found along our coastline is plastic, most from local sources.'
According to the latest CleanUp Australia Report (2019), plastic represents 31% of all litter collected. Plastic bag litter remains unacceptably high despite state (with the exception of NSW) and supermarkets bans. Heavyweight plastic bags are still available in all states and territories.
Virtually all of this discarded plastic does not decompose but, over time, ‘breaks up’ into ever smaller pieces (microplastics). The marine plastic problem is both about the plastic litter we can see and the plastic litter we can’t. It accumulates in the environment, year on year.
Australia needs to solve this problem, urgently. Over the next 24 months to 2022 we will be campaigning for governments to implement the legal and financial instruments to achieve a significant reduction in plastic pollution.
Source: Clean Up Australia Report, 2019
- To transition to a zero-waste society by leveraging strategic opportunities to drive best practice resource efficiency, recovery and recycling.
- To eliminate unnecessary and problematic single use plastics from use.
- To cut 70% of Australia’s contribution to plastic pollution entering the oceans (before 2025).