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

Clean Up Australia Day no excuse to let plastic polluters off the hook


28 Feb 2020

Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson will tomorrow join Greens Councillors and community volunteers cleaning up Belmore Basin for Clean Up Australia Day - and called for Government and big business to pull their weight and not leave the plastics problem to community volunteers.

Greens Councillor Mithra Cox said: “While it’s wonderful that so many people are willing to give up their weekend to fish rubbish out of the harbour, it would be much better if the rubbish wasn’t there in the first place.”

“Council and community shouldn’t be left with the clean up bill, while the companies that make lolly wrappers, polystyrene, helium balloons, cigarette butts and coffee cups take no responsibility when their rubbish inevitably ends up in the ocean,” Cr Cox said.

Greens Waste and Recycling spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said, “The Morrison Government’s $20m isn’t anywhere near adequate in addressing the waste and plastics crisis.

“Our recycling industry is in strife – we need decisive action at a Federal level to address the problem.

“Our current recycling system is no longer economically viable, and in many cases could not be considered recycling – it goes in the right bin, but what happens next is another thing altogether.

 “I’ve introduced the Packaging and Plastics Bill which would see binding Federal laws that hold the packaging industry to account on recycling targets.

“It will also see more investment in new technology and infrastructure.  

“The bill has widespread support from the waste industry itself and environment groups who understand we’ve hit a point of no return on our waste crisis.


Senator Whish-Wilson will hear from industry and the not-for-profit sector during the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee's examination of the bill in March.

More information on the Packing and Plastics Bill can be found here: