NSW Greens MLC Justin Field will introduce ambitious laws aimed at reducing plastic pollution, including phasing out all single-use plastic in NSW by 2023, in the next session of State Parliament.
The Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Marine Plastics Reduction) Bill targets a rapid decrease in the amount of plastic in the environment and flowing into the ocean where it threatens the environment and marine life.+
Some of the main targets of the Bill include:
(a) a 90% reduction in the amount of plastic waste that enters the ocean by the end of 2020,
(b) “zero pellet loss” in industrial processes, so that no plastic resin pellets used in industrial processes enter the marine environment, by the end of 2020,
(c) all new washing machines manufactured or sold in the State being fitted with a lint filter that is capable of trapping any microplastics (including microfibres) by the end of 2023,
(d) the manufacture and sale of all petroleum-based single-use plastics being prohibited by the end of 2023 (through a staggered process involving the elimination of specified types of plastic waste by the end of 2018, 2020 and then 2023).
It would also create a dedicated Marine Plastics Reduction Commission to develop plans to eliminate plastic pollution, raise community awareness, and advise government on the issue.
Mr Field said NSW cannot afford to ignore the rising tide of plastic that is choking the oceans and marine life, polluting rivers and impacting our health and that of future generations.
“The community is on the frontline of this war on waste but the NSW Government has not backed them up. The ‘bagflipping’ over plastic bags from Coles has shown that Governments can’t outsource this problem to corporations. We need leadership from our Parliaments to deal with the plastic pollution problem,” he said.
“This Bill recognises action must be urgent and strategic to reduce the large amount of human-generated plastic in our oceans, rivers and environment.
“The Bill would ban a range of single-use plastics, including bags and straws, immediately and phase-out other plastic products over the next five years. It sets a target of a 90% reduction in the amount of plastic waste that enters the ocean by 2020.The Bill and its achievable targets would transform our waste system, help our environment and incentivise innovation.
“NSW is lagging behind community expectations and significant action from the rest of the world, including the European Union, in addressing the serious challenge of plastic pollution.
“Yet, there is no reason the transformation of our waste system and reduction in plastics can’t create opportunities for our state to become world leaders and export the skills and knowledge gained.
“The Greens have long led the political debate about waste and pollution and we are putting forward an ambitious but essential plan to address the harm from plastic products and protecting the health of people, communities and our environment. I’m calling on all politicians in NSW to get behind this plan,” Mr Field said.