On May 31st, Patrick Liu was in the Parliament for the inquiry into waste management to lobby the government about the need for to reduce medical plastic waste. EcoAid strongly supports the restriction and prohibition of the manufacture, production, distribution, sale and supply of certain single-use and other plastic products for the health sector as plastic is piling up in our natural environment and posing a risk to human health. The health sector should lead the way in reducing this risk to human health.Time is of the essence.
Patrick outlined in his address, "Regulation targets itself won’t reduce plastic, but work on each product and find alternative, create a closed loop solution will be the key for success. We are half way now to replace plastic, but need government support and initiative to help with building up a close loop solutions. A simple pilot trial will be a good start."
The inquiry aims to pass a bill called: Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Plastics Reduction) Bill 2021.
The bill aims to reduce plastic waste, for example single-use plastic bags, microbeads in personal care products and detergents, single-use plastic cutlery, plastic drinking straws, disposable plastic cups, polystyrene food containers and other packaging. To achieve this, the bill sets out targets for plastic reduction, with a plan to eliminate plastics pollution by 2025. It seeks to establish a Plastics Reduction Commission that would report on the management of plastic waste, along with mechanisms to reduce plastics pollution. The Commission would also liaise with industry and government to develop strategies to achieve each of the targets, and would report on compliance."
Patrick along with other experts were approached to present to government on what we should be considering. Other organisations included:
CSRIO - scientists in Land and Water
Macquarie University - researcher
National Waste and Recycling Industry Council
Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association Australia
National Retail Association
Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association
Australian Fresh Produce Alliance
EcoAid has been working hard on a new initiative to create products in hospitals to replace the plastic options. We are half way there but there is much to do before time runs out and are seeking government support to help. EcoAid has told more than 28.7 million products reducing single-use plastic by 700 tonnes of plastic from landfill, not to mention the savings on greenhouse emissions.
The commission continues its inquiry with the hope of the bill being passed in the near future.