TCoPS - 33

compostable, 70% of plastic packaging
going on to be recycled or composted,
and for all plastic packaging to
comprise 20% recycled content.228
An investment of US$100 million in
the Australian Recycling Investment
Fund to build domestic recycling
is complemented by
targeted investment to tackle ghost
gear (US$14.8 million230
) and regional
investment to strengthen action against
plastic pollution across the Pacific
(US$16 million231
How a treaty can help:
A global treaty could enhance
Australia's efforts to transition to
a circular economy for plastics.
A global approach to addressing
plastic pollution that addresses
the full lifecycle of plastics could
positively impact on five of the ten
key challenges to circularity identified
in Australia's circular economy
These include recyclability
of imported plastics, demand for
recycled products, standards for
recycled materials and products,
and lifecycle research on plastics.
While Australia's circular economy
roadmap provides a framework for
domestic transformation, international
factors - including the global trade
in plastic, research, and innovation
- have the capacity to support or
undermine Australia's transition
efforts. An effective global agreement
would provide a supportive and
complementary framework for
domestic action.
Conversely, a lack of global
coordination could undermine
Australia's efforts. Australian
coastlines are impacted by both
domestic and international marine
plastic pollution. While the majority of
ocean pollution comes from domestic
sources, research indicates that
international sources do contribute
to the problem in Northern Australia
and other locations.233
Of the top 20
plastic emitters into the ocean globally,
half are in the Asia-Pacific region.234
Even if domestic policies effectively
reduce Australia's plastic leakage into
the ocean, Australia will continue to be
impacted by marine plastic pollution if
neighbouring countries fail to reduce
their plastic leakage. A treaty could
mitigate this risk through a concerted
global effort to reduce pollution at
the source, with a strong focus on the
largest emitters.
The treaty could also provide
the opportunity for Australia
to become a recognised global
leader on plastic pollution by
sharing best practice developed
by governments, scientists, NGOs,
businesses and communities.
Australia's unique approach to the
plastic crisis draws on its geography,
strong public support, innovation and
a strong connection to its pristine
natural environments and wildlife.
Governments are increasingly
collaborating to transition to a circular
economy and build domestic recycling
capacity. Australian scientists make a
substantial contribution to the global
evidence base on plastic pollution
impacts and solutions. And Australian
innovation, epitomised by movements
such as Plastic Free July and products
such as KeepCup, is demonstrating
sustained impact internationally.
Australia has a significant contribution
to make to a global approach, that
could be readily shared with other
countries via the technical support
component of the treaty.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia, 2006
© Troy Mayne / WWF


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of TCoPS

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