Make a Submission to ban single-use plastic

Want to tell the Government what to do about single-use plastic? 

The Federal Government has invited individuals and organisations to send in their opinions and proposals in writing.

A Bill is being presented to parliament to establish a mandatory product stewardship scheme for manufacturers, importers and distributors of consumer packaging and certain single-use plastics.

The Bill addresses:

  • A reduction in the amount of packaging and plastics being consumed.
  • An increase in the rate and quality of recycling and composting of packaging and plastics.
  • An increase in the use of recycled content in packaging.
  • A reduction in the amount of plastic being littered and entering the marine environment.

Full details of the proposed bill are here 

To make a submission all you need to do is put some points together, say what you think and submit. You can do this by

  • Creating a login on the parliamentary page and upload 
  • Or take the easier way and email to sen@aph.gov.au You can send it in the email body, or if you have a lot to say, then attach it as a document.

To make it easy for you, here are some points worth highlighting.

There must be

  • 100% of all packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable, in practice, not just theory
  • Packaging to include a minimum of 30% recycled content, with an aim for 100% recycled content where material is available by 2025
  • The phase-out of problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging by prohibiting it’s use
  • The establishment of a national 20c beverage container deposit.
  • Product bans for certain single-use plastic products and plastic packaging including
    • Lightweight plastic bags
    • Products containing microbeads
    • 6-pack plastic rings
    • Single-use straws and stirrers
    • Single-use cutlery, utensils. plates and bowls
    • Plastic Cotton buds
    • Sticks for balloons
    • Expanded polystyrene containers and cups
    • Oxo-degradable plastic

Financial contribution towards the cost of disposing of and cleaning up litter, and public awareness campaigns for certain single-use plastic products and plastic packaging:

  • Food containers and beverage cups.
  • Beverage containers.
  • Plastic packets and wrappers.
  • Wet wipes containing plastic.
  • Balloons containing plastic.
  • Cigarette filters containing plastic.

Financial contribution towards public awareness campaigns for Sanitary products containing plastic.

A national plastic bag scheme, where there is a levy on the sale of all plastic bags. This will establish an environmental fund, which will support public awareness campaigns, research and innovation to reduce, and better manage unnecessary waste.

Helium balloons should be banned from use, if intended for release into the environment. When balloons are released they are guaranteed to become litter.

How do I write this submission?

It’s up to you, write in the style that you are most comfortable with. There is no right or wrong. This is your chance give the Federal Government your input. You can note any of the points above, that you support. You can also make suggestions, as we have done in bold above.

There is no word limits, so you can say as little or as much as you like,

You can even be create and elaborate with something like
Cigarette butts are a highly littered product, they are an environmental nightmare. This can be resolved by establishing a national butt deposit scheme. It would be a world first where to purchase more cigarettes, butts would need to be returned or exchanged to ensure they do not end up in the environment.  Anyone littering butts should face fines and an obligation to pick up litter until there are no more cigarette butts, straws or plastic to be found in beaches, parks or in the guts of wildlife.

Let’s not be shy about this!

Have fun with it and tell the government your opinion and what they should do.

Submissions are due by, 13 December 2019.

More details are here 

About The Author

Kirsty Bishop-Fox is an environmentalist, permaculturalist and sustainability consultant for Sustainable Pathways. She works with councils, businesses, schools, primary producers, events and households to implement sustainable practices which minimise environmental impact and waste.

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