A new report detailing the plight of albatross is a sobering reminder of the Federal Government’s failure to act on the threat single-use plastics pose to our oceans and marine life.
The report shows the threat of single-use plastics on albatross species has been gravely underestimated and could be responsible for up to 18% of albatross mortalities in some regions.
Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Whish-Wilson, said the Government’s recent Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020 – lauded as Australia’s biggest waste and recycling reform in decades – completely ignored solutions to reduce and ban dangerous plastic packaging, and has failed wildlife species such as the albatross.
“Just months after Scott Morrison told the United Nations his government was going to take a leading role on tackling marine plastic pollution he completely turned his back on this commitment.
“In the last week of the Senate in 2020, the Liberal Party and One Nation voted down Green amendments to the Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020 that would have gone a long way to reducing plastic packaging from our waste stream – including a ban on the most problematic single use plastics found in our oceans.
“This was despite staunch support from the recycling industry, local governments and NGO's to finally take some action to stop the toxic tide of plastics killing our marine life.
"The recycling industry and community has made it clear they want federal laws to make the circular economy work where all plastic packaging is 100% recyclable, fully compostable or biodegradable.
“The University of Tasmania scientists behind the report now join a chorus of experts calling for more to be done to address problems with single use plastics.
“But Scott Morrison continues to put the profit interests of a few powerful packaging and retail companies – many of them big donors to the Liberal Party – ahead of the recycling industry, local communities and the environment.
“The Greens will continue to hold the Federal Government account for its reckless lack of leadership on this most serious of environmental issues”.