Waste | Australian Greens

Waste

All people have a right to clean air, fresh water and unpolluted soil. Waste as a by-product of industry and individual living should be minimised and eventually stopped.

Principles

The Australian Greens Victoria believe that:

  1. All people have a right to clean air, fresh water and unpolluted soil.

  2. Waste as a by-product of industry and individual living should initially be minimised and ultimately eliminated.

  3. The transportation of hazardous waste must be minimised, and the Australian community must be fully informed about its location, disposal and transportation.

  4. Cleaner production technology, reducing unnecessary packaging and waste generation, recycling product and packaging waste, and diverting organic waste from landfill are crucial for protecting our environment.

  5. Governments must practise waste avoidance in their own operations.

  6. Waste should be treated as a resource and reused in a way that achieves the maximum economic and environmental benefit to improve the recovery of organic waste from current levels via appropriately managed commercial composting facilities.

  7. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to be required to adopt extended producer responsibility, taking financial and/or physical responsibility for a product at the end of its life.

  8. The full social, environmental and economic costs must be measured and factored in to decisions about creating, managing and disposing of waste.

Aims

The Australian Greens Victoria will work towards:

  1. The elimination of dumping wastes in landfills by 2020 and, in the shorter term:

    a. implementing a State phase out of the use of landfills for the disposal of unsorted waste;
    b. documenting and monitoring the generation of different waste streams, with a focus on hazardous materials, with the aim of keeping all stockpiles and newly generated hazardous waste to a minimum;
    c. identifying non-recyclable and hazardous material to be phased out of use; and
    d. working with manufacturers, distributors and importers to provide sustainable waste and e-waste re-use and recycling facilities, including re-use and recycling strategies that meet minimum health, safety and environmental standards;

  2. To reach agreement with other states to implement national producer-run take-back and recycling schemes for problematic wastes, with at least 75% recovery – with penalties for failure.

  3. Legislation to require a deposit-refund system for drink containers.

  4. Legislation to phase out non-recyclable packaging.

  5. Legislation to ban the free distribution of plastic bags and support plastic bag free initiatives.

  6. To improve the recovery of organic waste from the current levels.

  7. An improvement in the mandatory standards of waste disposal and storage, and the proper enforcement of them.

  8. To strictly enforce higher penalties for the illegal disposal of waste.

  9. The establishment of a government procurement framework aimed at the verifiable reduction of the environmental impact of equipment and consumable
    goods used by government.

  10. Better regulation of landfill sites to limit material accepted, and increasing landfill levies with funds raised used to discourage waste disposal to landfill.

  11. Funds raised from landfill levies to be directed to better, wide ranging recycling services to enable more materials to be recycled across regions and reduce roadside dumping.

  12. All local governments encouraged to provide recycling and green waste disposal services to all properties (both residential and commercial) for non-industrial scale waste.

  13. Manage existing and landfill sites better, including by ensuring maximum possible methane capture, improving the environmental standards for operating landfills, and banning unstabilised organics from landfill.

  14. The elimination of the incineration of materials producing toxic emissions.

  15. Ensure the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009 and the National Environment Protection Measures for the Movement of Controlled Wastes between States and Territories are strictly enforced.

  16. Establish treatment facilities using the latest in waste disposal science, close to industry which produces such waste and/or can use the treated waste, and away from residential and environmentally sensitive areas.

  17. Ensure all toxic waste material plants operate at the highest safety level, and are regularly monitored and audited by appropriate Government authorities.

  18. Require the Government Purchasing Board to develop clear environmental purchasing guidelines, and provide training in tender specifications and contract management.

  19. Require the Government to set green purchasing targets.

  20. Ensure official Government and Government sponsored events are Waste Wise, with provision for evaluation and continual improvement.

  21. Prohibit the export of hazardous waste and e-waste unless similar health, safety and environmental standards exist in the importing country.