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National plastic reduction, recycling and reuse targets for 2025 will not be met unless the next Federal government acts to ensure its delivery, according to Boomerang Alliance.

Boomerang said in a period where targets on single use plastic packaging are expected to be delivered, the implementation of new packaging standards and mandates will be critical in achieving these ambitions. 

“The packaging industry has had 20 years to fix the problem and has repeatedly failed,” said Jeff Angel, director of the Alliance. 

“The Boomerang Alliance and our allied organisations are calling for urgent and decisive policy interventions by the next Federal government, to address problem plastic waste and pollution. 

“It’s time for the Commonwealth to step in to protect the environment from hundreds of thousands of tonnes of ongoing plastic pollution and packaging waste.” 

Boomerang Alliance is calling for election commitments that prioritise five measures, which includes:

  • Introducing a product stewardship scheme for packaging with mandated targets on reduction, recovery and recycled content;
  • Establishing national standards for reusable, compostable and recyclable packaging that result in them being recovered in practice, with the onus on manufacturers to be responsible for this;
  • Delivering on the current plastics ban promises and further expanding to other problem plastics, such as soft plastics;
  • Continuing funding for community clean ups to reduce litter, and investing in more research into the impacts of plastics on the environment, wildlife and its potential to enter the human food chain; and
  • Promoting and sign-on to and enforceable international treaty to reduce global marine plastics by 2024, with specific assistance to Pacific and regional neighbours.

“In recent times, most of the states and territories have been doing the heavy lifting on problem plastics, and it’s time for the Commonwealth to intervene where it has a primary role and responsibility,” Angel concluded.

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