A South Australian plastics manufacturer will start producing compostable bags tomorrow as the state closes discussion on eliminating single use plastics.
BioBag World Australia director Scott Morton welcomes South Australian Environment Minister David Speirs’ bid to ban disposable plastics – in particular plastic produce rolls offered by retailers as barrier bags for fresh foods.
The Minister and will open the Adelaide factory on 22nd February and he is expected to take action on banning single use plastics if South Australians are on board.
The Federal and State Governments have agreed all Australian packaging should be compostable, recyclable or combustible by 2025.
“South Australia is a national leader in recycling and resource recovery so it makes sense for us to lead the way and start now,” said Mr Morton.
“We absolutely must reduce the amount of single use plastic in production and in landfills. If 28 member states in the European Union can agree to officially ban single use plastic items, surely eight Aussie states and territories can too.
“State-wide plastic bag bans don’t achieve much if we continue using thicker, heavy duty plastic shopping bags and using them to line our bins or buying plastic bin liners,” Mr Morton said.
“All supermarket produce bags could be made in Australia from compostable materials.
“It makes sense to replace single use plastic produce bags with compostable bags made locally that can be recycled along with food waste.
“Research in South Australia shows using compostable bags in kitchen caddies diverts 117 percent more food waste from landfill.
“Organic waste contains valuable resources that can’t be recovered from landfill, yet that’s where 87 percent of Australia’s food waste ends up.
“We need to recycle organic waste to fertilise Australian soil instead of dumping it in landfills where it contributes to climate change by producing harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Morton said.
“Only three percent of plastic bags are being recycled in Australia and the rest are going into landfill or, even worse, entering the environment,” said Mr Morton.
“Dumping 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste into Australian landfills like we did in 2016-17 doesn’t stop it from impacting the environment and what happens when our land’s full of landfill?
“No plastic should be sent to landfill because it’s a waste of a valuable resource. We need to stop creating waste in the first place and maintain resources at their highest value. That’s why compostable is the only real solution.
“If it ends up in nature, a BioBag will not release microplastics. No other types of plastic can give that guarantee,” Mr Morton said.
Community consultation on the ‘Turning the Tide on Single-Use Plastic Products’ discussion paper closes 22nd February.