Illawarra Greens. Social justice, environmental sustainability, peace and non-violence and grassroots democracy.

We need a Circular Economy to help Clean Up Australia

Greens Candidate for Cunningham Dylan Green with Jess Whittaker at Belmore Basin for Clean Up Australia Day 2022

With more mobile phones on the planet than people and an estimated 92 million tonnes of clothing to be produced each year from 2030, Greens Candidate for Cunningham Dylan Green is calling for a $500 million incentive to reboot our ailing recycling systems.

The Greens plan would see $175 billion generated in direct benefits to our economy through a transition to a circular economy between now and 2040.

“If we invest in an economy that recycles more, that manages waste better and is innovative in how it produces materials, we can create new, rewarding jobs in Cunningham,” said Dylan Green.

“One of the Greens plans is to provide $1 billion for a nationwide compostable processing scheme and support our local councils to build composting facilities. 

“In Wollongong we are lucky to have two wonderful Greens councilors who have pushed for years to get FOGO up and running. But less than a third of Australians have access to a kerbside composting service. The Greens in the Federal government will support all local councils around Australia to begin similar programs.

“We need these initiatives that will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as well as reduce the amount of material being disposed of in landfill. 

“At the same time we need to reduce the amount of plastics and other waste ending up in our seas or waterways that the generous volunteers will pick up on Clean Up Australia Day.

 “Clean Up Australia Day is a great reminder that our rubbish is damaging our beautiful coastal ecosystems and that we have a responsibility to change this.

“We need to ensure that manufacturers design products that can be repaired when broken, repurposed when unwanted, and finally recycled at the end of their lives.

“The Greens support the right to repair, enabling people to repair broken products rather than having to buy an entire new product. Not only will this give more power to Australians, it will encourage producers to make durable, high quality products.

“I’d like to see a national ban on single use plastic items like straws, stirrers, lightweight carrier bags, cutlery and polystyrene food containers. The European Union passed a directive like this in 2019. The Greens plan to ban these items by 2025.

“With our existing heavy industry and transport routes via Port Kembla, Wollongong has great potential to become a hub for recycling.

“Steel can be recycled in an electric arc furnace powered by 100% renewable energy.

“The Greens want to spend $500 million on recycling infrastructure and I’d love to see some of that come to Wollongong.”