Everyone agrees that plastic pollution has to go! And that's not all that needs to change.
We need to make recycling cool and sustainability fashionable. Already the next generation is speaking up for the earth. Waste Not is their mantra.
We can create a bright new world of green jobs, clean energy, maximum resource efficiency and zero waste with a circular economy that builds sustainable prosperity for all future Australians. So what's the hold-up?
For almost 2 decades TEC has pushed for recycling infrastructure for all Australian states. We finally got Container Deposit Legislation in 2017 in NSW and now this has spread to all states. We are currently campaigning hard with our sister organisation the Boomerang Alliance for action on plastic pollution and other consumer waste issues to solve Australia's recycling crisis.
Together we can do this, with a coordinated effort from individuals and industry, with the full support of government, we can conserve resources and stop the waste. But where is the plastic tax, where are the regulatory controls of plastic imports, and the incentivised alternative bio-plastics and packaging solutions?
Beach clean-ups have mobilised communities across Australia, but they are catching plastic waste at the wrong end of the problem. Look in the gutter outside your home, your office, your community centre. It is filled with plastic rubbish sliding into the storm water drains on its way to destroy our oceans.
Our environment ministers need to get cracking. Banning single-use plastic bags (with NSW now the only state lagging) is a start but with millions of tonnes of rubbish dumping into our oceans - the largest and least expendable ecosystem on the planet - the situation now calls for global coordinated targeted action.
If we want to survive, we have no other choice. We'd like to see Australia become a world leader in waste free economies.
Students of Engadine High School parade their prize winning trashion for the Mash It Up 2018 competition: Dumpster Wedding For A Wasted World
What We Do
- TEC houses the Boomerang Alliance of over 51 groups around Australia campaigning to end plastic pollution.
- Our campaigns to instigate new recycling business models have forced industry to take responsibility for product stewardship. And we have worked hard to minimise waste to landfill. Check out our report on NSW's 20 year Waste Strategy for our proposals.
- Before the War On Waste we made Waste Not, TEC's Award Winning short documentary film about the beauty of recycling and the future of our planet. It has been translated into 4 languages and screened in over 30 countries. The film and curriculum matched study resources have been used all over Australia by corporations, schools, universities and TAFE's. Watch the Waste Not Trailer
- Mash It Up! the sequel educational documentary project to Waste Not, is inspiring high school students and teachers to create multi-media awareness campaigns by entering our Mash It Up! Trashion Couture competition. It's fun and it's changing staff and student culture in playgrounds and classrooms. For more info here.
- Cigarette Butts are a big problem - amongst the biggest littered items. Check out a guide to over a dozen types of collection bins that can be placed in public spaces here.
Students of Nepean Creative Performing Arts High School parade their prize winning Mash It Up Trashion for 2018: Game of Throwns.
The End of Plastic Pollution - trillions of pieces of plastic are moving through the planet's critical aquatic ecosystems. In Australia alone, an estimated 600 billion pieces of plastic currently infest our waters, and kill marine life. As micro-plastics move up the food chain, and onto our dinner plates, a ‘major health crisis’ is unfolding. Our solutions are based on getting that plastic out of the loop including by introducing refund schemes for drink bottles and cans (CDS), and insisting on a ban on single -use plastic bags (endorsed by the bipartisan 2016 Senate Inquiry); and more recently banning single-use items in the take away food sector (check our Boomerang's Zero Plastic Pollution campaign). We also host and manage the hugely popular work of Australia's peak zero waste NGO, the Boomerang Alliance of 51 groups.
Food waste - enormous amounts are dumped which can still be consumed or made into compost or green energy. We initiated Food Stall Savers to help events and markets become truly waste wise.
What you can do:
- Help us Ban The Bag - just NSW to go!
- Ask the NSW Environment Minister to act on marine plastic pollution
- Ask the Victorian Environment Minister to act on marine plastic pollution
- Ask the WA Environment Minister to act on marine plastic pollution
- Book the Ocean Action Pod for your school or community group.
- Visit the Waste Not educational website