The latest edition of the Benalla Sustainable Future Group’s column looks at ways to live without plastic.
Australia and a number of other countries are in the process of banning most of the plastic items that contribute significantly to our waste and environmental problems.
At a meeting of the federal, state and territorial environment ministers in April, eight problematic and unnecessary plastic product types for industry were listed in the National Waste Policy Action Plan for the nationwide phase-out by 2025 (in some cases earlier).
P-Plater driving at 160 km / h in Benalla. Caught
These include lightweight plastic bags; Plastic products misleadingly labeled as biodegradable; Plastic straws; Plastic utensils and stirrers; Expanded polystyrene food containers (for example, cups and clam shells); Expanded polystyrene packaging (loose fill and molded) for consumer goods; and microspheres used in personal health care products.
This ban has already been implemented in South Australia (1/3/21) and in the ACT (1/7/21).
The ban in Queensland begins in September 2021, in Western Australia from November 2021 and in Victoria from February 2023.
Our own council from the rural town of Benalla recently decided to ban a range of single-use plastics from events organized and sponsored by the city.
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In the first of our articles on Plastic-Free July, we asked people to look for alternatives to plastic products for many lifestyles.
Now is the time to introduce these alternatives as the upcoming legal bans will ensure that businesses and individuals must comply.
The reason for this ban is simple: Plastic waste has contaminated our world so badly that there are now indications of plastic microparticles in our food chain.
The plastic products that have washed up in our rivers and oceans have accumulated on huge floating “islands”, one of which in the Pacific Ocean towards the coast of South America is larger than the state of Texas.
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Other plastic landfills, often in third world countries, are disposed of by incineration, releasing toxic fumes into the atmosphere, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and serious health problems in these countries.
Since these plastic products are largely an invention of countries in the world’s developed economies, we have a moral responsibility to solve the problem, and this begins with each of us changing our own behavior as individuals.
The Benalla Sustainable Future Group will show the current documentary Plastic Wars at its next General Assembly on Thursday, July 22nd at 7.30 p.m. in the Uniting Church (across from Coles).
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This documentary provides an insightful account of how the plastics industry has tampered with legislation in many countries over the past five or six decades, which has contributed to much of the confusion about the use and recycling of plastics.
There is an opportunity to discuss the documentary and we will serve a light dinner at the end of the meeting.
If you are interested in participating, please register by email at [email protected]
If you would like to send a letter to the editorial team on this or any other topic, click on this link