The History and Future of Australia’s Battle Against Plastic

In recent years, Australia has emerged as one of the nations in the world that have been one of the most active in the battle to eradicate the use of single-use plastics. The efforts of local governments to reduce litter have resulted in an average decrease of 30 percent in the amount of plastic pollution along Australia’s coastline.

 The most populous state in Australia, New South Wales (NSW), has declared its intention to limit the use of a variety of single-use plastic products shortly. Plastic straws, cutlery, and shampoo that contain tiny particles are examples of these products. They have successfully implemented bans in over half of Australia’s states and territories. It’s been a tough journey for rubbish made of plastic in Australia. Although the country has a well-deserved reputation for lethargy, it has also given rise to several influential leaders.

 Ian Kiernan, first a real estate entrepreneur and then a professional yachtsman hailing from Sydney, Australia, was one of the earliest advocates for trash reduction. In the 1980s, as he was competing in a solo race around the world, he had an environmental revelation while sailing through the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic Ocean. He was sickened by all the garbage and plastic in the environment. To combat pollution in one of the world’s most recognizable waterways, Sydney Harbour, Ian Kiernan organized the Clean Up Sydney Harbour initiative in 1989. He was concerned that no one would show up, but forty thousand people from Sydney showed up in the end. A year later, it became nationwide, and the first Clean Up Australia Day was held.

The State of New South Wales passed a ban on thin plastic bags in June 2022. According to a planned “five-year roadmap,” several of these items, along with heavyweight plastic shopping bags, would be banned in Queensland in September 2023. On February 1, 2023, Victoria will be the first state to prohibit selling or supplying “problematic single-use plastics.” 

Compared to other nations, Australia is far behind in the amount of plastic packaging recycled because soft plastics, which are notoriously difficult to recycle, make up a significant portion of the problem. The consequences of decades of lack of apathy and ignorance. There is still a long way to go in Australia’s drive to reduce plastic waste, despite the rapidity with which legislation is being changed.

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