Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson today called for the Parliament to support the Party’s container deposit legislation which is currently before the Senate.
The Senator made the call following the disturbing findings Dr Britta Denise Hardesty aired on ABC’s Catalyst program last night. (http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3583576.htm)
The report showed a causal link between a lessening of some types of marine plastic debris and jurisdictions with a container deposit scheme.
“Observationally we do not find full plastic bottles or cans or glass bottles in South Australia and I would likely attribute that to the container deposit scheme that they have there,” Dr Hardesty stated.
“The waste that's associated with the beverage industry comprises about a third, and some estimates are as high as a half, of the marine debris that we find globally.”
Senator Whish-Wilson said he was horrified at images the program aired of dead sea-birds’ digestive systems choked with plastic debris.
“It was disturbing to hear that more than two hundred and seventy species worldwide are known to be affected by marine debris, including nearly half of all seabird species, according to the Catalyst report.”
“All Australians want to see less plastic in our oceans and last night’s report clearly demonstrates how a cash for plastic container scheme can achieve this.”
“I’ve been working with several volunteer groups helping to tackle this problem at a grass-roots level for years and have seen first hand how much damage marine plastic debris can cause.”
“As a member of the Senate I can continue this work through the progression of this bill.”
The Greens' Environmental Protection (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Bill will create a national scheme for recycling the 10 billion drinks containers Australians throw away each year through a 10c returnable deposit on all drink bottles, cans and cartons.
The scheme will divert more than 740,000 tonnes from landfill and will increase recycling of drink containers from 50% to 80%. It will also create hundreds of green jobs and generate up to $90 million in government revenue.
“For decades all we have done is take from the ocean, supporting this legislation is a chance to give something back.”