Labor to ban single-use plastic bags

A Shorten Labor Government will make Australia a world leader in tackling plastic use and boosting recycling – investing $290 million to cut waste and handing on a cleaner Australia for the next generation.

Labor will protect our vulnerable wildlife and reduce the amount of waste generated by putting in place a national ban on plastic products like microbeads and single-use plastic bags.

Plastic has a devastating impact on our natural environment – more than a thirds of the world’s sea turtles were found to have plastic waste in their stomachs, and it is estimated around 90 per cent of seabirds eat plastic waste.   Plastic breaks up into smaller pieces over time,  becoming harder to manage and clean up and filtering through to waterways, lakes and oceans.

That’s why Labor will introduce a national ban on lightweight, single use plastic bags and microbeads from 2021. We will consult with states, territories and industry on how best to do this. This will create a consistent approach across the country – following moves of many state and territories to phase out single-use plastic bags, as well as manufacturers phasing out microbeads.

In addition, Labor will also implement a broader Recycling and Waste Strategy, including:

  • The creation of a National Container Deposit Scheme – Labor will work with COAG to ensure states with existing schemes are consistent. These schemes incentivise recycling, and increase the quality of recyclables by separating out materials – making it far cheaper to be able to recycle in Australia. One of the reasons Australia exports so much waste to be recycled overseas is the cost of sorting materials so they can be recycled. States without a scheme will not be forced to participate in the national scheme, but will be invited to join.
  • Establishing a National Waste Commissioner – To work with states and local government and help educate the community on solutions to waste. The Commissioner will also be charged with working with industry on the expansion of schemes for the recycling of products when they are at the end of their use – the Product Stewardship Schemes.  There are existing schemes for TVs, computers and mobile phones – the Commissioner will look at the expansion of these schemes to other products which are currently ending up in landfills at alarming rates – including e-waste, batteries, and whitegoods such as microwaves. The Commissioner will cost $15 million over six years.
  • Investing in the domestic recycling industry – Labor will invest $60 million National Recycling Fund. This will fund projects to encourage recycling, including funding for innovative waste solutions, local government recycling facilities and material processing facilities, and new approaches to tackling food waste. A Labor Government will engage with industry, the research sector and the wider community to integrate waste processing and recycling into a 21st century industrial system, based on Industry 4.0 principles. Already used materials and products will be reprocessed and integrated back into the economy for greater productivity. This shift must take place across the full range of manufacturing industries – steel and aluminium, chemicals, plastics, automotive and electronics. It will require a focus on innovation and development of capabilities, at the industry and the enterprise levels, and the acquisition of new capabilities will in turn create new job opportunities.
  • Tackling marine plastics through $15 million to assist our neighbours clean up the Pacific Ocean –  Recent media notes that there is an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing 80,000 tonnes in the Pacific Ocean. The Australian Marine Conservation Society estimates there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050. As an island continent and developed country Australia has a responsibility within our region to clean up our oceans. This will see Australia play its part in our region by funding international efforts to reduce marine litter through the United Nations Environment Programme, regional and bilateral assistance to Pacific nations, and funding of efforts to clean rivers and waterways in Southeast Asian neighbours, including through ASEAN-led initiatives.
  • Setting targets for government to purchase recycled products – As one of Australia’s largest procurers, there is an opportunity to make the Australian Government a national leader in waste and recycling by prioritising the purchase of recycled products. Labor will also ask the Infrastructure Department to investigate whether recycled products can feasibly be used as road base for infrastructure projects.

Today’s announcement builds on Labor’s plan to clean up Australia’s urban waterways and stop plastics from reaching our oceans through our $200 million Urban Rivers and Corridors program – partnering with community organisations and environmental groups to revitalise the nation’s waterways and make them safe and clean places.

About Editor, cairnsnews

One of the few patriots left who understands the system and how it has been totally subverted under every citizen's nose. If we can help to turn it around we will, otherwise our children will have nothing. Our investigations show there is no 'government' of the people for the people of Australia. The removal of the Crown from Australian Parliaments, followed by the incorporation of Parliaments aided by the Australia Act 1987 has left us with corporate government with policies not laws, that apply only to members of political parties and the public service. There is no law, other than the Common Law. This fact will be borne out in the near future as numerous legal challenges in place now, come to a head soon.

Posted on April 1, 2019, in australian Labor Party and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. More stupid posturing to appease moaning lounge lizards.

    If the “Shorton integrity” really wanted to do something about feral plastic waste he might pay the many desperately poor in Asia and India to capture and “reuse” plastic waste even if only to mix it with coal or oil to produce electric power. After all is said and done, plastics are made out of oil.

    But nah! it’s not about real solutions to real problems, it’s all about political con-jobs to attract and capture shallow idiot’s votes.

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