For years Australians have diligently sorted recycling into the yellow-lid bin. This has stopped millions of tonnes of waste from going to landfill and helped build an industry that employs 50,000 people across the country. But thanks to government neglect and lobbying by the packaging industry Australia’s recycling industry is in crisis and plastic pollution is rapidly choking our oceans.
In 2012 Pete was the first senator to raise the scourge of plastic pollution choking our oceans in the Australian Parliament. He has since led the charge in parliament by establishing two landmark Senate inquiries into the recycling crisis and marine plastic pollution. Through this work in the Senate, and through his on-the-ground campaigning, Pete has helped focus attention on the need for industry to be held to account for these twin problems.
Assisted community campaigners to get container deposit schemes established or promised in every state (only SA and the NT had this in place in 2012.
The Federal Government adopted Greens’ policy to use the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as a vehicle to fund additional investment in recycling.
Legislate mandatory product stewardship schemes for all e-waste, tyres, mattresses and other problematic waste streams.
Get federal funding for a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) based in Hobart to research and tackle the problem of marine plastics in our oceans, as well as to innovate for a future beyond plastics.