Victoria yesterday became the third Australian jurisdiction to ban single-use plastics, including polystyrene containers, straws, cutlery, plates and plastic cotton bud sticks.
Victoria Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced a phase-out and ban of specific single-use plastics by 2023, including at bars, cafes and restaurants, in a bid to reduce the amount of plastic waste that goes to landfills each year.
The phase out and ban would not affect medical or scientific equipment, emergency services or other activities that require these types of plastics.
“Single-use plastic items — like straws and plastic cups — make up about one-third of Victoria’s litter,” D’Ambroisio said. “We need to change this, so we’re getting rid of them.”
Each Victorian sends an average of 68kg of plastic waste to landfill every year.
The government would consult businesses and the community throughout the year as part of a formal regulatory impact statement process.
It follows South Australia, which in September last year became the first Australian state to ban some single-use plastics including cutlery, straws and stirrers.
The South Australian legislation also lists items under consideration to be added to the ban list, including single-use coffee cups and lids and single-use plastic bowls, plates, food containers, balloon sticks, balloon ties, bags and plastic-stemmed cotton buds.
However, the introduction of the legislation was delayed due to COVID-19.
There is concern that the COVID-19 pandemic might have stymied some progress toward lessening a reliance on plastic, with an increase in medical waste from disposable masks, gloves and gowns, disposable wipes, and liquid soap.
In December last year, Queensland also introduced legislation to stem the destructive effects of plastic on marine life and waterways.
The government is seeking community feedback on whether the ban should be extended to include polystyrene containers.
A 2019 report by the Center for International Environmental Law said that urgent action to stem production and disposal of throwaway plastic was needed.
“At current levels, greenhouse gas emissions from the plastic lifecycle threaten the ability of the global community to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C,” it said.
“With the petrochemical and plastic industries planning a massive expansion in production, the problem is on track to get much worse,” it added.
The Australian government yesterday said that it had decided against buying the single-dose Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine and identified a second case of a rare blood clot likely linked to the AstraZeneca shot. The Australian government had been in talks with the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant, which had asked the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration for provisional registration. However, Australian Minister of Health Greg Hunt ruled out a J&J contract, because its vaccine was similar to the AstraZeneca product, which Australia had already contracted for 53.8 million doses. Hunt said the government was following the advice of Australia’s scientific and technical advisory
The Indonesian government has said it is satisfied with the effectiveness of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine it has been using, after China’s top disease control official said that current vaccines offer low protection against the novel coronavirus. Siti Nadia Tarmizi, a spokesperson for Indonesia’s COVID-19 vaccine program, on Monday said the WHO had found that the Chinese vaccines had met requirements by being more than 50 percent effective. Clinical trials in Indonesia for the vaccine from Chinese drugmaker Sinovac showed that it was 65 percent effective, she said. “It means ... the ability to form antibodies in our bodies is still very
The Oscars are the glitziest night of the year in Hollywood and millions across the globe tune in, but they threaten to be a dud in China after the nomination of a Hong Kong protest documentary. Beijing-born filmmaker Chloe Zhao (趙婷), who is touted to win big for her acclaimed American road movie Nomadland, has also faced criticism back home after some questioned her loyalty to China. China has spent years “pining for Hollywood accolades,” entertainment magazine Variety said, and state broadcaster China Central Television has shown the awards live or on a delay since 2003. Online platforms in China, the world’s fastest-growing
FEARING THE WORST: High-powered weapons, as well as a hand grenade, were used in fighting between two clans over a land ownership dispute that is expected to continue Police are warning an “all-out war” could erupt in Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands Province, after 19 people were killed in tribal violence last week. High-powered weapons, as well as a hand grenade, were used in fighting on Thursday and Friday near a town called Kainantu, resulting in 19 deaths, with many more people unaccounted for and properties destroyed. The fighting, between the Agarabi and Tapo clans, was over a land ownership dispute and broke out just kilometers outside of Kainantu. Police said it is believed that the fighting stopped on Saturday and Sunday as some fighters observed the Sabbath, but they fear