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.
The Australian Greens Victoria believe that:
- All people have a right to clean air, fresh water and unpolluted soil.
- Waste as a by-product of industry and individual living should initially be minimised and ultimately eliminated.
- The transportation of hazardous waste must be minimised, and the Australian community must be fully informed about its location, disposal and transportation.
- 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.
- Governments must practise waste avoidance in their own operations.
- 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.
- 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.
- The full social, environmental and economic costs must be measured and factored in to decisions about creating, managing and disposing of waste.
The Australian Greens Victoria will work towards:
- 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;
- 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.
- Legislation to require a deposit-refund system for drink containers.
- Legislation to phase out non-recyclable packaging.
- Legislation to ban the free distribution of plastic bags and support plastic bag free initiatives.
- To improve the recovery of organic waste from the current levels.
- An improvement in the mandatory standards of waste disposal and storage, and the proper enforcement of them.
- To strictly enforce higher penalties for the illegal disposal of waste.
- The establishment of a government procurement framework aimed at the verifiable reduction of the environmental impact of equipment and consumable
goods used by government.
- Better regulation of landfill sites to limit material accepted, and increasing landfill levies with funds raised used to discourage waste disposal to landfill.
- 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.
- All local governments encouraged to provide recycling and green waste disposal services to all properties (both residential and commercial) for non-industrial scale waste.
- 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.
- The elimination of the incineration of materials producing toxic emissions.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ensure all toxic waste material plants operate at the highest safety level, and are regularly monitored and audited by appropriate Government authorities.
- Require the Government Purchasing Board to develop clear environmental purchasing guidelines, and provide training in tender specifications and contract management.
- Require the Government to set green purchasing targets.
- Ensure official Government and Government sponsored events are Waste Wise, with provision for evaluation and continual improvement.
- Prohibit the export of hazardous waste and e-waste unless similar health, safety and environmental standards exist in the importing country.