The Government's recycling and waste bill is set for the Senate today where the Greens will raise amendments to ban single-use plastics and make packaging targets mandatory.
Senator Whish-Wilson and newly elected ACT Greens MLA Jo Clay joined volunteers for a clean-up beside Lake Burley Griffin on the way to Parliament House.
Quotes attributable to Senator Peter Whish-Wilson:
"The plastics crisis can be found in the ice cores of Antarctica, in deep sea trenches, our mountain peaks, right through the food chain, and in our atmosphere. We've found it right on the doorstep of Parliament and yet this Government still can’t seem to see it.
"What we found in and around Lake Burley Griffin is typical of what we find in our waterways all over Australia.
"In just 20 minutes, we collected bags full of the top single-use plastics that Greens amendments would see banned: throw-away cutlery, wrappers, straws, plastic bags, water and soft drink bottles.
"But the Government's waste and recycling legislation doesn't include action on reducing packaging or single-use plastics.
"Greens amendments would see a ban on a range of single-use plastics and hold big packaging companies and retailers to account with mandatory packaging targets.
"The recycling industry has made it clear they want federal laws to make the circular economy work, to create jobs and boost investment.
"State and local governments are stepping up to the plate to enact their own plastics bans and recycling schemes.
"The Greens in government in the ACT are phasing out single-use plastics with legislation coming into effect next year.
"But it shouldn’t be up to state and local governments to bear this burden. The recycling industry wants one standard across the country."
Quotes attributable to MLA Jo Clay:
"Here in the ACT, we know it's not that hard to do. The government is introducing legislation to ban some single-use plastics this week.
"We're moving in leaps and bounds, committing to a roll-out of organics recycling, and will be directly involved in the design of replacements for those plastics.
“We do need the federal government to step up and show national leadership, but while we wait there’s lots we can and will do here in the ACT."