Greens spokesperson for Waste & Recycling and Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says dire predictions from WWF that plastic pollution is set to double by 2030 could be avoided with federal legislation.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, "Australia’s recycling industry is in crisis and plastic pollution is choking our oceans.
"Enacting federal legislation with real teeth and achievable recycling and packaging targets will provide a national framework for local councils and state governments to enforce.
"Local councils, such as Hobart City Council, and state governments are introducing their own versions of plastic bans because the Federal Government isn't doing its job properly.
"Federal legislation would enforce national bans and targets and would mean local councils and state governments wouldn't have to introduce their own versions of plastic bans."
The Greens have announced the Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Certain Plastics) Bill 2019 which will establish a mandatory product stewardship scheme that:
- adopts 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 per container by 2021.
"This Bill will ban single-use plastics, help to tackle the current waste and recycling crisis in Australia, and reduce the toxic plastic pollution that is choking our oceans."
Further details of the Bill can be found here.