Inquiry backs national standards for plastic bans, CDS

plastic inquiry

An inquiry into plastic pollution in Australia’s oceans and waterways has recommended nationally harmonising single-use plastic bans, waste collection standards and the Container Deposit Scheme.

Updating the National Plastics Plan is one of 22 recommendations in the final report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water  tabled in Parliament on 28 May.

The recommendations are aimed at strengthening Australia’s plastics management framework to minimise plastic waste to landfill, incentivise the use of recycled materials in the production of new plastics and strengthen management of the plastics that are already in the environment.

Chair of the Committee, Tony Zappia, said the Plan should be nationally co-ordinated in consultation with state and territory governments, industry, and the community and increase industry accountability to reduce the amount of plastics ending up in landfill.

“Many Australians want to recycle correctly but inconsistencies among states and territories have led consumers to believe that certain items are recyclable or compostable when they are not,” Zappia said.

“The Committee recommends nationally harmonising the single-use plastic bans, waste collection standards and the Container Deposit Scheme.

Zappia said packaging and recycling labelling needs to be standardised and simplified to reduce confusion and help consumers recycle the right containers.

And there’s a need to better understand the potential risks and effects of microplastic pollution on human health. The Committee has recommended investment in research and the development of a microplastic reduction strategy to limit microplastic pollution in marine environments.’

The full report, including the Committee’s complete list of recommendations can be found on the inquiry website.

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