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National action on marine plastic pollution possible on World Environment Day

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 5 Jun 2013

The Australian Greens have highlighted the opportunity for Australia to help solve a global pollution crisis on World Environment Day.

“We are facing a plastic pollution crisis in our global oceans of alarming proportions but Environment Minister Tony Burke can, this World Environment Day, take the most significant action yet to help solve this problem by publicly supporting National Container Deposit Legislation (CDL),” said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, national spokesperson on waste and recycling.

“The single biggest global pollution problem in our oceans - and on our beaches - is plastic pollution, which often washes up in the form of plastic beverage bottles or plastic fragments with 5.4 billion plastic bottles consumed every year in Australia alone.

"We have a historic opportunity this year, after a decade long battle, to bring in this nationwide “cash-for-containers” scheme with a decision from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) due within weeks.

"But Coca-Cola, a giant multinational, has used its deep pockets to put shareholders' profits before the environment, blocking a national scheme by lobbying aggressively in the halls of power.

"Tony Burke has the opportunity to show leadership and publicly state his support for a national container deposit scheme, standing up for our ocean environment this World Environment Day, not the self-interest of multinational corporations like Coca-Cola," Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.

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