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Australian Marine Conservation Society highlights new Federal laws banning plastic waste won’t save wildlife

Australian Marine Conservation Society highlights new Federal laws banning plastic waste won’t save wildlife
December 9, 2020

Australia’s peak marine conservation body, Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has welcomed the passing of new Federal laws that will end the practice of shipping Australia’s waste overseas but highlights that the laws would not solve the plastic pollution problem in Australia.

The Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020 will give effect to a ban on exports of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres agreed by Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in March.

AMCS praised the Federal Government for putting an end to the practice of shifting our plastic burden to other countries, but said the laws would not solve the plastic pollution problem in Australia.

AMCS plastics spokesperson Shane Cucow advised “the laws themselves will not reduce the plastic flowing into our oceans and harming marine wildlife like turtles, seabirds and seals.

“To really deal with the plastic pollution crisis in Australia we must make targets to cut plastic packaging mandatory. For years we have had voluntary targets for cutting plastic packaging and they haven't worked.

“We need a nationwide framework for eliminating the most lethal plastics for ocean wildlife, like plastic bags, straws and cutlery.

“Every day we wait, more ocean animals are killed by the plastic in our oceans.”

Cucow said it was disappointing that amendments moved by Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson to ban single-use plastics and make plastic packaging targets mandatory had been defeated in parliament.

The legislation follows on from action on single-use plastics in some of Australia’s States and Territories. South Australia’s ban on single use plastics is due to begin early next year. The ACT and Queensland governments have both tabled legislation banning single use plastics that are thought will pass in February. Western Australia has announced plans to introduce a ban by 2023.

However single-use plastics bans are yet to be introduced into parliaments in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

Related Articles

14th August 2020 - Australian Marine Conservation Society claims ACT Government is delaying comprehensive single use plastic legislation

7th November 2019 - Australian Marine Conservation Society welcomes Queensland government proposal to ban single-use plastics

9th November 2020 - Western Australian Government releases new strategy to reduce single-use plastics

10th September 2020 - South Australia becomes first state to ban single-use plastics but ban delayed until 2021 due to COVID-19

15th July 2020 - Queensland Government moves to ban single-use plastics to save marine life

11th March 2020 - New CSIRO research shows ocean plastic returning to Australian coastlines

3rd February 2020 - ACT takes action to phase out single-use plastic products

23rd January 2020 - Global tourism initiative to combat plastic pollution

30th December 2019 - National plastics summit set to address Australia’s growing waste problem

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