Conservation groups welcome aspects of the largely voluntary packaging and recycling targets but warn regulation will be necessary
Polystyrene foam commonly used to package consumer goods will be phased out in Australia by mid-2022 as part of a national plan to combat mounting plastic waste.
Conservation groups have welcomed many aspects of the plan, which also includes an end to polystyrene food and beverage containers by the end of 2022, but also criticised its largely voluntary approach to reaching ambitious goals, calling for those targets to be mandated.
The Morrison government also announced it would support “coordinated global action to address marine plastic” through the United Nations, which is developing a treaty on the issue.
The National Plastics Plan, launched in Brisbane by the federal environment minister, Sussan Ley, and the assistant minister for waste reduction and environmental management, Trevor Evans, also included targets to cut plastic pollution from washing machine outflows and from cigarette butts.
By July 2022, Australia should have phased out plastic packaging products that do not meet compostable standards, as well as polystyrene used in loose and moulded forms for a wide range of consumer goods.
~sThe Guardian, 4 March 2021