Greens spokesperson for Waste & Recycling and Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, and the Environment spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, today released the exposure draft of a Bill that bans single-use plastics, helps tackle our current waste and recycling crisis, and reduces the toxic plastic pollution that is choking our oceans.
The Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Certain Plastics) Bill 2019 will establish a mandatory product stewardship scheme that:
- adopts the recycling targets from the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s 2025 National Packaging Targets;
- introduces a ban on particular single-use plastics by 2025 and adopts consumption reduction targets for other plastics by 2025 in line with the 2018 European Parliament Directive;
- introduces a ban on microbeads and lightweight plastic bags by 2021;
- introduces a national container deposit scheme at 20 cents by 2021.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, "Australia’s recycling industry is in crisis and plastic pollution is choking our oceans.
"This Bill tackles both of these problems head-on by requiring industry to take responsibility by reducing the use of plastic and increasing the recycling of packaging.
"The packaging industry and the Federal Government have already committed to the National Packaging Targets. Talk is cheap, making these targets mandatory is simply asking them to walk the talk.
"The evidence is out there that container deposit schemes are crucial to a healthy recycling system, and would help end Australia's recycling crisis.
"Introducing a nationwide container deposit scheme will standardise the approach around the country and drag the laggard states of Victoria and Tasmania on board.
"It's great to see Aussies out today doing their bit for the environment, but this Bill will help clean-up Australia every day."
Greens Environment spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said, "Australia is renowned for its beautiful beaches and nature, but plastics are clogging our environment and putting our native species and marine life at risk.
"People in our communities are already playing their part, but it is frustrating that politicians aren’t doing their share of the heavy lifting. The Greens will introduce new laws to ban single-use plastics, to clean up our oceans and keep our beaches beautiful.
"Over the summer we saw Bali announce a ban on single-use plastics, and just this week California has done the same.
"It is 10 years since South Australia banned single-use plastic shopping bags. Our progress on reducing plastic waste in Australia has stalled while nations and jurisdictions around the world are leaving us behind."
A summary of the Bill and the exposure draft can be found below.