Everyone agrees we need to recycle more; avoid waste; and that plastic pollution has to go!
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 on excess packaging, and the incentivised alternative compostable 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 stormwater drains on its way to destroy our oceans.
Our environment ministers need to get cracking. Banning single-use plastic bags (with NSW the last state to implement a ban in June 2022) is a start but with millions of tonnes of rubbish dumped into our oceans - the largest and least expendable ecosystem on the planet - the situation now calls for more comprehensive action. Bans on the multiple single-use plastic items are now rolling out around the country, led by South Australia, ACT and Queensland. Plastic Pollution Reduction Plans and Plastic Action Plans are becoming the norm, including the Federal government and even a Global and regional Plastic Pacts.
If we want to survive and have healthy oceans, these changes are essential. We'd like to see Australia become a world leader in circular 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 and works with the Boomerang Alliance of over 55 groups around Australia campaigning to end plastic pollution and aiming for zero waste.
- We also work with the Boomerang Alliance on the container deposits campaign and publish reviews of the performance of each state CDS.
- 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.
- TEC is opposing waste to energy (incineration) proposals. They are not part of the circular economy and cannabalise recyclable resources.
- We are running the largest citizen science project - AUSMAP - measuring microplastics and identifying hotspots. This project was the 2021 Winner of the Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science.
- Dig deeper into the Ocean Plastic Pollution issue - new website coming in 2022.
- We developed the Ocean Action Pod, which spread the Healthy Oceans, Clean Beaches message to schools and communities for 5 years and since early 2022 continues its work under new management.
- Before the War On Waste we made Waste Not, based on 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, inspired high school students and teachers to create multi-media awareness campaigns by entering our Mash It Up! Trashion Couture competition.
- Cigarette Butts are a big problem - amongst the biggest littered items. TEC ran a Butt Litter Reduction project in Surry Hills and created some great resources to raise awareness about the huge problems created by this little bit of litter! 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 55 groups.
What you can do:
- 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