Consultation is now closed

Public consultation on the Cleaning Up Our Act: Redirecting the Future of Plastic in NSW discussion paper is now closed.

1. Are you concerned about how much plastic we use in NSW?
If 'Yes' what are you concerned about?
2. Do you support NSW Government action on specific plastics to protect human health and our environment?

Outcome 1: Reduce plastic waste generation

Proposed target: Phase out key single-use plastics in NSW

The best way to reduce plastic waste is to eliminate it at the point of generation. Avoiding plastic is the best way to protect our environment and human health. Members of the community, government and business can all work together to reduce the amount of plastic we generate.

3. Do you support the proposed target to phase out key single-use plastics in NSW?

Priority direction 1: Harness people power to create a fundamental shift in the way we use plastic

4. Do you support using less plastic?
5. Is it hard to use less plastic?
6. How can government make it easier to use less plastic?

Choose all that apply

7. How can businesses make it easier to use less plastic?

Choose all that apply

Priority direction 2: Set design standards for plastic consumer items

Consistent, mandated product design standards for certain plastic items would help reduce problematic and unnecessary plastics that can harm the environment and help increase the use of recyclable materials. By designing out plastic waste, we can reduce the amount of plastic that is littered or landfilled. This can create a shift towards durable and reusable materials and increase the proportion of plastic that is recycled and remanufactured.

8. Do you support government introducing mandatory design standards for certain plastic products?

Priority direction 3: Phase out key single-use plastic items

The best way to reduce plastic waste is to avoid making it in the first place. By phasing out plastics we don’t need or that cause problems, we can save resources and reduce risks to the environment and our health. However, our community has diverse needs and plastics that are unnecessary to some may be essential to others. All phase outs will consider exemptions to meet specific community needs.

9. Do you support the phase out of lightweight plastic bags (less than 35 microns and including ‘degradable’ and ‘compostable’ plastics)
10. Do you support the phase out of heavier/boutique plastic bags?
11. Do you support the phase out of plastic straws?
12. Do you support the phase out of disposable plastic plates and bowls?
13. Do you support the phase out of disposable plastic cutlery?
14. Do you support the phase out of disposable plastic stirrers?
15. Do you support the phase out of disposable plastic cups?
16. Do you support the phase out of expanded polystyrene food and beverage containers?
17. Do you support the phase out of all oxo-degradable plastics (a type of plastic that can break up into microplastics faster and may cause other environmental harm)?

Outcome 2: Make the most of our plastic resources

Proposed target: Triple the proportion of plastic recycled in NSW across all sectors and streams by 2030

When plastic reaches end-of-life it’s important we recycle as much of it as we can and use that plastic to make new products or materials. This reduces the amount of new plastic we generate, preserves valuable resources in our economy for longer, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and prevents plastic entering our environment.

20. Do you support the target to triple the proportion of plastic we recycle in NSW across all sectors and streams by 2030?

Priority direction 4: Make producers of plastic items more responsible for collecting and recycling in NSW

Under extended producer responsibility schemes or product stewardship schemes producers bear greater responsibility for the products they make. These schemes can involve shared responsibility across a product lifecycle, from extraction.
21. Do you support schemes were producers take greater responsibility for the plastics they generate?
23. Are there challenges with such schemes?

Priority direction 5: Mandate 30% minimum recycled content in plastic packaging in NSW by 2025

Requiring that recycled content is used in new plastic provides an end market for recycled plastic and can help us triple our recycling rate.

25. Do you support a requirement for all new plastic packaging to contain at least 30% recycled plastic content by 2025?
26. Do you support all new plastic items to be made with recycled plastic?
27. Would a requirement to use recycled plastic drive demand for recycled content?
28. Are there barriers to creating a reliable supply of locally recycled materials for reprocessing?

Priority direction 6: Support demand and industry capacity

The NSW Government can play an important role in stimulating demand for recycled content by increasing the safe use of recycled plastic in government procurement projects. The plastic recycling sector can also be stimulated by government investment.

30. What type of funding would encourage investment in the plastics recycling sector?

Outcome 3: Reduce plastic waste leakage

Proposed target: Reduce plastic litter by 25% by item by 2025

One of the major sources of plastic entering our environment is litter. The NSW Government has already delivered highly successful litter reduction programs, including the container deposit scheme, Return and Earn, and the $50 million litter prevention program. However, we can still do more to protect our environment from plastic litter.

32. Do you support the target to reduce plastic litter by 25% by 2025?

Priority direction 7: Use extended producer responsibility schemes to fund litter collection and end-of-life plastic management

Some plastics are hard to collect because of their sheer number or the way they are used and disposed. Cigarette butts (which are made from plastic) are the most littered item in NSW. They are very difficult to collect, are easily washed into our waterways and carry potentially toxic chemicals. Fishing gear is often lost or abandoned in waterways or in the ocean and causes significant injury or death to our marine wildlife. A CSIRO study found 8,000 pieces of lost fishing gear floating in the ocean killed up to 14,600 turtles in one year. Government can work with businesses (producers of plastic and plastic waste) to develop extended producer responsibility schemes, enabling them to take more responsibility for protecting our health and environment from plastic litter like cigarette butts and fishing gear.

33. Do you support schemes that enable producers to be more responsible for the collection and management of plastic items like cigarette butts and fishing gear?

Priority direction 8: Invest in infrastructure that can better manage plastic before it causes harm

Plastic enters our environment from many sources, not just litter. Microplastics in our biosolids, spillage of plastic pellets, dumping of plastic waste and many other sources all leak plastic into our environment. Appropriate management of end-of-life plastic can help reduce plastic leakage. Infrastructure, such as improved waste water treatment technology, can help capture plastic before it enters our environment and our oceans.

34. Do you support the NSW Government investing in infrastructure to prevent plastic leaking into the environment?
35. What infrastructure or processes would most effectively prevent plastic leakage?

Choose all that apply

Outcome 4: Improve our understanding of the future of plastics

Proposed target: Make NSW a leader in national and international research on plastics

Despite plastic being widespread in modern society, research into the long-term effects of plastic on the natural environment and human health, and the best ways to reduce these impacts, is still emerging, or on some topics still relatively young. Supporting research on plastics and the best way to reduce the impact of plastics can help NSW become a leader in this space.

36. Do you support the proposed target to make NSW a leader in national and international research on plastics?

Priority direction 9: Set up a NSW plastics research network by 2021

There are still many gaps in our knowledge and unknown opportunities to improve how we use and manage plastic. Setting up a NSW Plastic Research Network will bring together research institutions, industry, government and other organisations along the plastic value chain to generate innovative solutions and create opportunities for NSW.

37. Do you support the establishment of a NSW Plastic Research Network?

Priority direction 10: Support commercialisation of research-driven plastics solutions

By backing NSW research and development in plastics, we also have an opportunity to create new industries and jobs. The Government can help support researchers commercialising their technologies. By becoming a leader in plastics research, NSW can better understand how to tackle the plastics problem and export this knowledge. Not only does this approach make research and development more sustainable it also sets NSW up as an attractive hub for international investment.

38. Do you support the NSW Government funding the commercialisation of research-driven plastics solutions?
39. Do you need support from government to commercialise a viable plastics management solution and bring it to market?

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The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.