Victorians no longer have access to single-use plastics, with a recent government ban on the items across the State. This includes prohibiting supply and sale of plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink-stirrers, polystyrene containers and cottonbuds.
According to the government, single-use plastics make up a third of all Victoria’s litter, and while it’s a great start, other States such as Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland implemented their single-use plastic bans some time ago. In fact, they are now working on a second round of plastic items to add to that ban, and there are calls for Victoria and New South Wales to catch up.
Heavyweight plastic bags and coffee cups are not included in Australian plastic bans currently, and is the next hurdle to overcome in the nation’s attempts to become a zero waste circular economy.
According to the Australia Packaging Covenant Organisation, Australians only recycle about 16 per cent of plastic waste – not helped by the recent collapse of the REDcycle program, Australia’s largest soft-plastics recycling scheme. Hundreds of millions of plastic bags have been sent to landfill since REDcycle “paused” operations in November 2022.
While the federal government has created a soft-plastics taskforce and earmarked $60 million in funding to help businesses invest in recycling infrastructure, discussions need to continue about reducing plastic waste on a global scale. In particular, the onus needs to be put on multi-national corporations, manufacturers and brands that utilise soft plastics in food packaging, rather than the end consumer.
For more information on how you can help reduce plastic waste in landfill, please contact our team today.