Some, like the Greens, argue manufacturers and retailers need to take more responsibility for the lifecycle of their packaging. “Product stewardship” and extended producer responsibility (EPR) requires manufacturers to factor the disposal of packaging into its design and production.
Other solutions to the waste crisis include charging more to dump waste in landfill or offering subsidies to increase the capacity of the local recycling sector.
A better option is to consume less plastic. “Precycling” minimises waste by reducing consumption. In practice this means packing your shopping in reusable bags, using a reusable cup for your takeaway coffee, buying items free from packaging — and putting a whole apple in our kids’ lunchboxes.
Nicola Heath reports on the current plastic crisis in Australia. Although every state has agreed to ban single use bags, the real problem that needs to be addressed is in the aisles and aisles of pre-packaged food. Although the impact of plastics on our ocean has been well reported, it seems that there is a significant impact on our fresh water lakes too. Studies have found microplastics in drinking water, beer and honey. I wonder if the solution starts with school?