About the Plan
There are actions we can all take to reduce the effects of plastics on our environment.
The National Plastics Plan outlines these actions and key milestones we are working towards to reduce Australia’s plastics problem.
Our goals are to:
- reduce plastic waste and increase recycling rates
- find alternatives to the plastics we don’t need
- reduce the amount of plastics impacting our environment.
To achieve this, we will:
- phase out the most problematic plastics
- work to make our beaches and oceans free of plastic
- bring in legislation to ensure Australia takes responsibility for its plastic waste
- invest to increase our recycling capacity
- research to find new recycling technologies and alternatives to the plastics we don’t need
- support the community to help Australian’s recycling efforts.
The problem with plastics
Plastic has been a revolutionary material. It allows us to mass-produce lightweight products and packaging cheaply. But our current ‘take, make, dispose’ approach is leading to excessive landfill and harming our waterways. It is not sustainable.
Facts about plastics
Australia uses around 70 billion pieces of soft “scrunchable” plastics including food wrappers each year.
- Australians used 3.4 million tonnes of plastics in 2018-2019.
- One million tonnes of Australia’s annual plastic consumption is single-use plastic 84% of plastic is sent to landfill and only 13% is recycled.
- Every year in Australia approximately 130,000 tonnes of plastic leaks into the marine environment.
- Our use of plastic is increasing and across the world will double by 2040.
- By 2050, it is estimated that plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish.