The state government is calling on industry, businesses, and the community to provide their thoughts on the 'NSW Plastics: Next Steps' discussion paper. Their goal is to reduce plastic litter by 30 per cent by 2025, address the issue of microplastics, and align their efforts with other Australian states and territories.
Penny Sharpe, NSW Minister for the Environment, highlighted that 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste are produced each year within the state, with only 12 per cent of it being recycled. She emphasized the need for collective action to make a positive impact and preserve the environment for future generations.
“We must act. By working together, we can make a real difference and leave the environment in a better state for our children,” Minister Sharpe said in a statement.
The NSW Government is therefore seeking input from industry, businesses, and the wider communityonwhich plastic items to target to minimize their negative impact on the environment, wildlife, and communities.
The 'NSW Plastics: Next Steps' initiative focuses on items and materials that fit one or more of the following criteria:
They are commonly littered or release microplastics into the environment.
They contain harmful chemical additives.
They are subject to regulation or proposed regulation in other states and territories.
Problematic products that contain plastic, such as lollipop sticks, cigarette butts, bread tags, and heavy-duty plastic shopping bags, are some of the items that may be redesigned or phased out.
The consultation period will last for 14 weeks, starting from October 29, 2023, and ending on February 4, 2024. If you want to contribute to shaping the future of plastic usage, you can visit the NSW Environment Protection Authority's website.
All the feedback received will play a crucial role in determining the steps taken to address issues related to problematic and unnecessary plastics.