The Boomerang Alliance is taking a three metre long giant soft drink bottle on tour throughout regional Victoria to highlight the need for a state-wide Container Deposit Scheme.
Boomerang Alliance director Jeff Angel said the recycling industry in Victoria was on the ‘brink of collapse’ because of contaminated kerbside collections.
“The Victorian Government needs to act quickly to implement a viable long-term solution that will deliver clean material acceptable for recycling and grow domestic reprocessing,” Mr Angel said.
“Victoria could lead on the circular economy around plastics but only by closing the loop and maximising the quality of reclaimed resources – Container Deposit Schemes continue to prove their effectiveness in achieving this objective.”
The Big Bottle Tour will also travel through Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Mildura, Melbourne, Echuca, Beechworth, Castlemaine and Ballarat.
A Container Deposit Scheme is a program where accepted drink containers can be recycled for a refund.
Boomerang Alliance Victorian campaigner Annett Finger said one of the major benefits was that recycling reduced the amount of marine plastic litter pollution.
“There’s nothing else that any jurisdiction can do that has such a positive impact on the ocean, it cuts down on plastic litter,” Dr Finger said.
“Even if you are no where near the ocean, container litter just melts away, it contributes to a vast amount of litter.”
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said messages throughout the community that encouraged people not to litter were very important.
“What we have seen over the last seven years is a reduction in the amount of litter, despite that there’s still a long way to go,” she said.
Ms Edwards said the state government had established a recycling industry taskforce.
All the containers collected on the tour will be delivered to the Premier along with a message that will highlight the issues faced in regards to waste and littering in regional communities.
Mr Angel said the state was drowning in a sea of contaminated kerbside recycling and ‘the time to act is now’.
“Can the state government continue to ignore the evidence and oversee not only the destruction of Victoria’s recycling industry but also the ongoing damage to its iconic environment?”, he asked.
The Big Bottle Tour was supported by BendiGO Zero Waste, Boomerang Bags and Plasticwise Bendigo.