Beyond Waste

The Greens believe:

  1. South Australia must adopt a zero waste goal in order to conserve natural resources and  avoid pollution.

  2. To achieve a zero waste goal and create a Circular Economy we must follow the waste  hierarchy: avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle and recover.

  3. Waste must be separated and sorted at its source in order to reduce contamination, so that  it can be properly reused and recycled.

  4. Waste should be treated as a resource and reused to create new products.

  5. When making decisions about how to manage and dispose of all types of waste, we must  consider social, health, and environmental costs, in addition to economic costs.

  6. Producers must be responsible for the waste they create, including the full cost of recycling  or disposal at the end of the life of the product, as a part of encouraging more sustainable design and manufacturing.

  7. Hazardous waste creation must be rigorously and independently regulated with a view to  eliminating the need for any long-term waste storage.

  8. Best-practice waste solutions must be accessible and easy for people and manufacturers/corporations to adopt.

  9. A Circular Economy will lead to new industries and investment.

  10. All levels of government have a responsibility to develop policies and practices that help create and support these new sustainable industries.

The Greens will:

         Drive action across all levels of government
  1. Work with federal, state and local governments to ensure that South Australia lives up to the  2025 National Packaging Targets of:

         - 100% of packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
         - 70% of plastic packaging recycled or composted
         - 30% average recycled content across all packaging
         - Phase out problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through  redesign, innovation or alternative delivery methods.

  2. Create a State Waste Strategy that fully articulates, prioritises and applies the waste hierarchy (avoidance, minimisation, reuse, recycling, recovery, treatment and disposal), including:

         - 90% recovery of municipal waste by 2030;
         - 75% recycling of packaging waste by 2030;
         - a maximum of 10% landfilling of waste by 2030;
         - mandated gas capture at large landfill sites; and
         - a prohibition on incineration of waste.

  3. Work with stakeholders towards a phase out and eventual ban of single-use plastics for food  and other plastic packaging, plastic cotton buds, balloon sticks and ties. This would be done in conjunction with industry, scientists, innovators, consumer and community groups, and local governments.

  4. Update the Environment Protection Act to reframe the Container Deposit Scheme as a  resource-recovery measure as well as a litter-reduction measure.

  5. Investigate expanding the Container Deposit Scheme to include a wider variety of containers  whether used for food, beverages or other purposes.

  6. Establish a Circular Economy Centre for Excellence to gather local expertise and industry innovators to accelerate the transition of South Australia's waste profile and economy.Support research, development, and commercialisation of advanced waste processing and  new primary industries that offer sustainable alternatives to plastic.

    Support innovative research and development
  7. Create cost efficient reporting systems to define the true volumes, generators and types of  waste, to better target reduction strategies and evaluate success.

  8. Create demand for new industries by setting mandatory targets for government departments in relation to the recycled content of materials used or purchased by government.

  9. Create more convenient collection and disposal options for household hazardous waste.

  10. Improve labelling of recyclability of different forms of packaging.

    Make it easier for households
  11. Strengthen laws around what can be labelled as “degradable”, “biodegradable” and “compostable”.

  12. Promote greater consistency, standardisation and collaboration between councils relating to  both kerbside collection bins and public bins.

  13. Support increase of soft plastics recycling options and run public education programs to  explain how to separate plastics for recycling.

  14. Create more convenient options for people to recycle glass and other containers with  collection points located in shopping precincts.

  15. Modify household co-mingled recycling schemes to reduce the level of contamination,  particularly in relation to broken glass.

  16. Expand public education campaigns to encourage good recycling practices to decrease contamination of recyclable material, increase recovery of resources and decrease the amount of recoverable material going to landfill.

  17. Investigate more frequent collection of organic waste collection to encourage householders  to divert more food waste into green waste bins.

(Beyond Waste Policy as amended by The Greens SA Policy and Campaigns Council April 2020)