Government launches first ever National Plastic Plan

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Image Credit: mali maeder from Pexels

The Morrison Government launched today Australia’s first National Plastic Plan – banning single use plastics such as polystyrene consumer packaging in the upcoming months. 

The plan also aims to launch a plastic-free beach initiative, a unification of waste collection bins, and a phase in microplastics in washing machines among others.

Australian consumers up to 1 million tonnes of single use plastic annually.

The new plan will tackle the plastics issue at five key fronts: legislation, investment, industry targets, research and development, and community education.

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“We know the problems, we know that there are good ideas out there, but this is the first national strategy, one that attacks the issue from all sides and which sets clear targets over the next decade,” said Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley MP.

“We want to work with companies, bring consumers with us and call out those companies which make false environmental claims about their products.”

Among the actions identified are:

  • A plastic free beaches initiative
  • New labelling guidelines to help consumers
  • An end to expanded polystyrene consumer packaging fill and polystyrene food and beverage containers
  • Greater consistency for kerbside bin collections, including food and organic waste options
  • Establishment of a task force to address the plastics in littered cigarette butts
  • Phase in microplastic filters in washing machines
  • Ensuring 100% of all packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • A second plastics summit focussing on sustainable design.

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans said the plan will help the industry achieve its 2025 packaging targets.

“When we convened the first Plastics Summit in March last year, it was the first step on our plastics mission of bringing together leaders from industry, government and the community to identify new ideas and solutions to address the plastic challenge,” Assistant Minister Trevor Evans said.

“It is going to take time for us to establish a truly circular economy, one where all plastics are fully recycled, and where products are designed in ways that allow their components to be remanufactured at the ‘end of life’, but it needs to happen.”

For more information about the Government’s phase out plan, visit: http://environment.gov.au/plastics-plan

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