A Labor Government will invest $290 million to cut waste, tackle plastic use and boost recycling to ensure a cleaner Australia for future generations and introduce a national ban on lightweight, single use plastic bags and microbeads from 2021.
Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters said this commitment will make Australia and world leader in recycling.
“This is an issue that is raised every time I visit a school in the Bendigo electorate. Our young people are very passionate about the environment. I've shared their concerns with Parliament and the Labor team.
“A national ban on plastic products like microbeads and single-use plastic bags will protect our wildlife and waterways, and reduce waste.
“I want to acknowledge the school students, Central Victorian sustainability groups and concerned locals who have called for the plastic bag ban and raised this issue with me.
A Labor Government will consult with states, territories and industry on how best to do this. This will create a consistent approach across the country – following moves of many state and territories to phase out single-use plastic bags, as well as manufacturers phasing out microbeads.
In addition, Labor will also implement a broader Recycling and Waste Strategy, including:
- The creation of a National Container Deposit Scheme
- Establishing a National Waste Commissioner
- Investing in the domestic recycling industry – Labor will invest $60 million National Recycling Fund.
- Tackling marine plastics through$15 million to assist our neighbours clean up the Pacific Ocean
- Setting targets for government to purchase recycled products
Waste management is a major issue across our local councils, particularly since China stopped importing low-grade Australian waste last year. There is a recycling crisis in our region and we are running out of landfill.
“So while many Central Victorians do their duty – they recycle, compost, and use keep-cups for their morning coffee – we need the government to take a leading role to tackle some of the big, structural problems,” Chesters said.
Labor is committed to delivering a better deal for the next generation.
Environmental Actionist Lily Watson said Australia is behind the times in terms of sustainable living and this policy is a great step forward.
“Every piece of plastic that has ever been made is still on this Earth.”
“The microbeads that you use in your hygiene products are made up of plastic too small to catch in water filtration systems. That means the fish eat the plastic, we eat the fish, and therefore we are eating plastic.”
“Thousands of wildlife die or fall ill each year because of the mistakes we make with our poor decisions and ignorance, I welcome Labor’s policy to tackle plastics and reduce waste.”
“Unfortunately, some items that are labelled as recyclable can't actually be recycled because they don't have the facilities for it - so as great as recycling is, we also have to put a big focus on reducing waste as a whole.