What's New?

Media Release: Environment Ministers Agree on Recycling Plan timetable - then go home

Saturday, 9 November 2019

(From Boomerang Alliance)

The Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM) in Adelaide today recognised Australia’s recycling crisis, then went home without agreeing on any funding or effective actions to resolve the problems, environment groups said today.

“While Australia now has an agreed and staged export ban for mixed wastes, and a target of 80% average ‘recovery’ rate for all waste streams by 2030 – ministers have kicked the actual mechanisms down the road for more talking,” said Jeff Angel, Director of the Alliance of 49 environment groups.

“What is missing is the detail about how this recovery target is to be achieved. It is also very concerning that incineration is endorsed as it could gobble up most of the resources creating pollution and with no ongoing recycling in the economy.”

“Ministers appear to have put the industry Packaging Covenant on notice to achieve targets of 100% of packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable and 70% of plastic packaging to be recycled - by 2025. We would be much happier if we just got on with the job of making these targets enforceable given the repeated failure of the Covenant to achieve previous targets – 2025 is not far away.”

“Government procurement to promote the use of recycled materials is also left up to more talk - again we are left none the wiser and will have to wait to hear ‘over the coming months.”

“Boomerang Alliance does welcome the intention to legislate to ban specific single use takeaway plastics by the South Australian and Queensland Governments and urges other states and territories to act in concert, as part of the promised National Plastics Plan,” Mr Angel said.

For more information:

Jeff Angel – 02 9211 5022; or 0418 273 773

2 billion trees for Koalas

Friday, 8 November 2019

(From WWF Australia)

This month, we’re launching our vision to plant and protect two billion trees across Australia, an ambitious reintroduction project on Yorke Peninsula takes a big step forward, and we’re getting ready for the end-of-year festivities… sustainably! Will you join us?

With bushfires raging across NSW and destroying critical koala habitat, we need your urgent support to save koalas and their homes. Join us as we begin to restore what’s been lost and work towards two billion trees.

Help save koala habitat

Get involved in National Recycling Week with your workplace!

Thursday, 7 November 2019

(From Planet Ark)

How to get your workplace involved in National Recycling Week

National Recycling Week is a great opportunity to get you and your colleagues participating in new or existing recycling programs and sustainability initiatives. Here’s how you and your colleagues can get your workplace involved.

Find out more

7 things you didn’t know you could recycle at work

Australia is a country of keen recyclers with nine in ten agreeing it’s the right thing to do. But most of us are completely unaware that some of things we’re chucking in the garbage can actually be recycled. In this article we’re busting the myth that if something can’t be put in your workplace recycling bin, it can't be recycled.

Read more

An Australian innovation – Coca-Cola produces Australia’s first 100% recycled bottle for carbonated beverages

In a major step forward for sustainability, Coca-Cola Amatil has produced Australia’s first carbonated soft drink bottles made from 100 per cent recycled plastic.

Planet Ark is proud to have Coca-Cola Australia onboard as the major sponsor of this year's National Recycling Week.

Read more

GM-FREE-Alliance Australia petition

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

"Now is the time to act. If you want to know that the food you are eating is GM free, please contact your local MP and senators to demand that all genetically modified organisms are assessed for safety and labelled for consumer choice."

Sign the petition here:

Please share with your networks

EPBC Act review announced

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

(From Environmental Defenders Office Qld)

The 10 year review of the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) has commenced as of today, see the relevant website here for all available information.

The Discussion Paper will be released in November, which will commence the opportunity for formal submissions to the review.There may also be other opportunities to provide formal submissions as key reports are published, such as their draft report on the review.

Currently the Terms of Reference are available here.

The Panel who will be overseeing the process is here.

You are able to put in a ‘comment’ here at any time but this won’t be included as a formal submission.

EDO will be providing an overview of suggestions for submissions to the review once the Discussion Paper is released – stay tuned!

"Eminent Persons Group" Chair's Final Report

Sunday, 27 October 2019

(From ICAN Japan)

On October 21, Chair's final report of the Group of Eminent Persons for the Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament was submitted to the Japanese government.
Below is the link to the full text:

It advocates for a "positive engagement to bridge disarmament divide" and lists key questions to be addressed, including ones related to the relationship between disarmament and security. It also presents a set of actions, including risk reduction, NWS' reporting on their nuclear policies as well as the consistency with IHL, and exploring a liability mechanism for nuclear weapons accidents and use, in addition to the traditional agenda such as START extension, CTBT, FMCT, and disarmament verification.

But nothing in there is of direct use for the promotion of the TPNW.

This would become a basis for the Japanese government to prepare for the 2020 NPT RevCon.

Akira Kawasaki

The Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)

Sunday, 27 October 2019

The Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) is a professional not-for-profit organisation that works to promote peace and disarmament. MAPW aims to reduce the physical and psychological impact, as well as environmental effect of wars throughout the world. MAPW has branches in every State and Territory in Australia.

In 2007, MAPW launched ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which was the key civil society organisation working with governments to achieve the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 7 July, 2017.

ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its key role in the adoption of the treaty.

Learn about MAPW's campaigns here, including the Universities & Unacceptable Weapons – Sign the Statement.

Forest-friendly beef [QCC members]

Friday, 25 October 2019

(From Dr Anita Cosgrove)

Just letting you know that TWS just launched the public aspect of our beef markets campaign. Most clearing in Qld (and thus Australia) is done for beef production. So, we're asking retailers of beef products (supermarkets and fast food chains) to source deforestation-free beef, or "forest friendly beef".

The Project ran a great story on it here. Yesterday, we launched our petition to the CEOs of the supermarkets and fast food chains asking them to eliminate deforestation from the products they sell.

We'd love to see the Project story travel far and wide because they've told us if there's enough interest they might take this up as one of their campaigns like they did with plastic bags. So, if you could do one of the following, it would be a huge help:

Thanks all!

Dr Anita Cosgrove
Deforestation Campaigner

3/67 Boundary Street
South Brisbane QLD 4101
(07) 3846 1420

Quit Nukes- new campaign for nuclear weapon free finance

Thursday, 24 October 2019

(From ICAN Australia)

Today we officially launched Quit Nukes - nuclear weapon free finance, a new joint campaign with the Medical Association for Prevention of War. We are advocating for Australian super funds to cut ties with nuclear weapon producers.

Polling shows that 69% of Australians want nuclear weapon free superannuation. With around $15 billion of Australian superannuation members’ funds invested in nuclear weapon producers, we have a powerful opportunity to withdraw financial support from the industry. Who is your super fund? Write back to this email to let us know.

This global movement is already well underway, with 77 financial institutions commended for their policies on nuclear weapons by Don't Bank on the Bomb.

The nuclear weapon ban treaty prohibits anyone from assisting with the production of these weapons, including by financing them. As it moves closer to entering into legal force, it provides a clear motivation to divest from destruction and fund a future without nukes.

To kick off Quit Nukes on the first day of UN Disarmament Week, we addressed the board and staff of Australian Ethical Super, commending their policy to exclude investments in nuclear weapons. Steve Gibbs, Acting CEO (pictured here with Margaret Peril and myself), said “here at Australian Ethical we know it’s possible to deliver on value and values, and we are proud to offer nuclear weapon free investments and support this important campaign”.

What can you do?

  • Write back to this email letting us know who your super fund is. We may need to mobilise.
  • Help us spread the word about this new campaign!
  • Write to your super fund to ask about whether they have investments in nuclear weapon producers. You'll find plenty of background info here.


Gem Romuld,
ICAN Australia

Plastic futures

Thursday, 24 October 2019

(From Prof Andy Lowe)

Our love affair with plastic seems to know no bounds and isn't stopping.

The first plastic, bakelite, was produced in 1907 and since then the global plastics industry has exploded, now producing 300 million tons a year. This astonishing growth has outpaced almost all other manufactured materials, but it has also overtaken our ability to deal with it. In other words, the plastic garbage problem is bad and getting worse, with the World Bank forecasting that plastic waste will grow by 70 percent in the next 30 years.

Cumulative plastic waste generation and disposal (Science mag - http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782)

The type of plastic we produce is also problematic. 50% of plastics are single-use and 42% are for packaging.

One of the key problems with plastics is that they take a long time to break down naturally. Plastic items can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfill.

With so much plastic hanging around for long periods it's only inevitable that some makes its way into our water courses and oceans to reek environmental havoc.

Read full article here.

Fossil Free News: a season of change

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From Fossil Free News)

An estimated 500,000 people came out in Montreal. Photo: bamjamin, Instagram

At it again: On Friday, 27 September, a second wave of strikes swept the globe. In New Zealand, 3.5% of the population – a significant figure – were out in the streets. And in some cities and towns, and in island nations like Tokelau, the participation rate was much higher. By day’s end, millions had mobilised in India, South Korea, Italy, Portugal, Ghana, Spain, Canada, Argentina, and elsewhere. Read more.

The 23 September blockade in Washington, D.C. Photo: Climate Justice Alliance.
The strike in Chad in on 27 September. Photo: Mahamadou Amadou

Afrika Vuka: After thousands came out across Africa on 20 September, beautiful actions (including a trade union-led protest) took place again the following week in Chad, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, and more countries to demand a just and renewable future. Watch the highlights

Extinction Rebellion (XR) at the Washington, D.C. blockade on 23 September. Photo: Zhivko Illeieff

Season of change: Our week-long strike might be over – but climate action groups are gearing up for the months to come. Fridays for Future continues to call strikes every Friday in cities worldwide to pressure local leaders, and another global strike is in the works. Expect escalated actions around the world as Extinction Rebellion gears up for their two-week International Rebellion starting 7 October.

New research: regional nuclear war will cause catastrophic global consequences

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From ICAN)

Two scientific studies modelling the effects of nuclear war released in the past few weeks have revealed some terrifying figures:

  • 91.5 million deaths in a matter of hours, if nuclear conflict breaks out between the United States and Russia,
  • 125 million deaths in case of a week-long conflict between India and Pakistan using 100 kilotonne nuclear warheads,
  • A 30% reduction in surface sunlight due to the 36 teragrams of black carbon released into the atmosphere after the India-Pakistan conflict,
  • Two billion people at risk of famine.

The two studies, Princeton's Science and Global Security programme "Plan A" [1] and Science Advances' “Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe” [2], show that there is no such thing as a ‘contained’ nuclear conflict.

These are not farfetched scenarios. This new research comes out as tensions are increasing between India and Pakistan, and four of the nine nuclear-armed states have tested nuclear missiles in just the past two weeks. [3, 4] You can read more about this new research here.

The science is clear: we need to eliminate nuclear weapons, before they are used again.

And ICAN is creating the pathway to a world free of nuclear weapons. Thanks to campaigners in more than 100 countries, we are on our way.

  • 79 countries have signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) to date.
  • 32 states - representing over 660 million people - have also ratified the treaty. This means we’ve nearly reached two-thirds of the way to the 50 ratifications needed for the treaty to enter into force. [5]
  • Cities like Los Angeles, Sydney, Paris, Manchester, Berlin, Oslo, Washington DC, Edinburgh, Zurich, Tokyo, Toronto and many more are supporting the Treaty and urges their governments to join it.
  • Over 1,300 parliamentarians around the world have pledged to supporting the Treaty and work for their government to join it.

At this critical moment, we need your help to strengthen our campaign to get the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to enter into force, and to delegitimise nuclear weapons.

Make a donation today

Thank you.

Beatrice Fihn,
Executive Director
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

[1] Plan A: read more about the Princeton study modeling the conflict between the United States and Russia.
[2] Learn about the global impact that a regional conflict between India and Pakistan would have on our global climate and food supply, in the study published by Toon et al. in Science Advances
[3] Four Countries Display Missiles, Demonstrate Risks of Renewed Nuclear Arms Race | icanw.org
[4] Imran Kahn warns the UN of potential nuclear war in Kashmir | The Guardian 26 September, 2019
[5] Learn which 12 States joined the TPNW on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

How well is your state performing at plastics recycling?

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From WWF Australia)

The results of Australia’s first-ever plastics scorecard

Can you guess which Australian state or territory is leading the way when it comes to tackling our plastic problem?

Last week, the team at WWF-Australia released the country’s first-ever plastics scorecard.

We measured each state and territory on what they’re doing to tackle some of the worst single-use plastics.

While some state governments have taken action, the scorecard reveals that many are falling severely behind.

How does your state or territory rank?

Congratulations to South Australia for topping the plastics scorecard!

We’re hoping this scorecard encourages other states and territories to follow South Australia’s lead to take the action needed to ban single-use plastics.

Together, we can ensure that Australia’s breathtaking nature doesn’t go to waste.

New Insights in Climate Science summary, unprecedented and enduring changes in the planet’s oceans and frozen components, Sustainability Research and Innovation 2020

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From Future Earth's September Newsletter)

New Insights in Climate Science: A 2017-2019 Summary is available

Future Earth and The Earth League collated the most up-to-date science since 2017, on the drivers and impacts of climate change, to make the case that achieving the Paris Agreement is not only necessary, but possible. This summary was produced for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, September 2019, to inform national leaders and policymakers participating in the Summit.

Read more

IPCC Special Report Calls for Urgent, Ambitious, and Coordinated Action

A new report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlights the need for urgent, ambitious, and coordinated action to address unprecedented and enduring changes in the planet’s oceans and frozen components. The knowledge synthesized in the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) also aims to facilitate the ability to adapt to ongoing, irreversible changes for over one billion people living in high mountain regions, low-lying coastal zones, small island developing states, and the Arctic region. Members of Future Earth’s global research projects, knowledge-action networks, and partners contributed to the report in the role of coordinating lead authors, lead authors, and reviewers.

Read more

Call for Session Proposals: Sustainability Research and Innovation 2020

The Belmont Forum and Future Earth are launching an innovative global event series focused on Sustainability Research and Innovation (SRI), which will bring together a global community of changemakers, driven by a common goal to accelerate transition to sustainability. The first SRI will be held in Brisbane, Australia from 14-17 June 2020 and it welcomes practitioners, researchers, funders, innovators, thought leaders, policy-makers, and industry partners across the broad spectrum of communities working to solve local to global sustainability challenges. The call for session proposals is open as of today until November 15, 2019. Find out more on the SRI website and submit your proposal through the SRI2020 submission portal.

Healthy Seeds Project, endangered plant found, impact of land clearing on native bird habitat

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From Australian Network for Plant Conservation)

Healthy Seeds project has commenced!

We are very excited to announce that the ANPC has embarked on the 18 month 'Healthy Seeds' project funded by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust, to deliver an evidence-based Roadmap to secure a reliable, genetically-appropriate, native seed supply in NSW for restoration, and to update the Florabank Guidelines for best practice native seed collection and use. An audit and investigation into past and present Seed Production Areas (SPAs) will also be undertaken. A consortium of partners will be established across the native seed and ecological restoration sectors to oversee the project. SPAs are seen as central to overcoming shortfalls in high quality native seed for ecological restoration, and for improving seed supply reliability, reducing pressure on wild populations, and for improving genetic provenance and diversity to ensure the long-term health and resilience of restored ecosystems. The Florabank Guidelines, first developed in 1999 in partnership between Greening Australia, CSIRO, and Bushcare, will be revised and updated with the latest science. These guidelines remain the benchmark for best practice native seed collection and use in restoration and are widely used by practitioners - the closest thing to an industry standard that is currently available.

Read more

Endangered plant found in the ranges

Ecologists have made a significant discovery in the state's far north, uncovering large populations of a regionally critically endangered plant. The Freckled Duck is critically endangered in the Flinders Ranges but has been a target species for SA Arid Lands' Bounceback and Beyond program. The finding comprises a population of about 1500 plants at 10 different sites, stretching over a kilometre at a site east of the town of Copley. SA Arid Lands Community Ecologist Ben McCallum and DEW Principal Rangelands Ecologist Rob Brandle have been credited with the discovery. "We don't know a lot about this plant, but it is believed they grow in colonies in a specific soil type," Mr McCallum said.

Read more

Research reveals impact of land clearing on native bird habitat

Scientists have revealed that the practice of land clearing has robbed half of Australia's native bird species of almost two-thirds of their natural habitat in some parts of the country, with the most dramatic changes in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. The research also found that it's not just threatened species that are losing their homes, but also common birds, that play a crucial role in many of our ecosystems.

Listen here

CSIRO: ECOS e-news

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From CSIRO's September ECOS e-news)

IPCC flags risks and response options for polar and ocean environments in latest report

A new report into polar regions, mountains, oceans and coasts shows the impacts of climate change on these sensitive areas are worse than previously thought, with implications for Australia.

Find out more

When disasters collide: helping Australia adapt to new risks under climate change

A collision of severe weather events can destroy lives and infrastructure, destabilising economies and ecosystems.

Read more

Saving baby turtles one nest at a time

We're working with Indigenous rangers in Cape York to give baby turtles the best chance of making it from nest to ocean.

Read more

#GoForZeroWaste, #ReuseRevolution, Branded v2.0, Global Week of Action and more...

Wednesdsay, 23 October 2019

(From Break Free from Plastic Movement)

The Global Zero Waste Cities Movement is Growing!

The solution to plastic pollution? Zero Waste Cities! Through zero waste communities around the world, every day citizens are building healthier, more resilient places to live and work. Find out more from #breakfreefromplastic member, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives and learn how YOUR city can go for zero waste!
Check it out!

Asia is home of Zero Waste solutions!

Local government leaders and grassroots groups gathered in this year’s International Zero Waste Cities Conference held in Penang, Malaysia. Organized by #breakfreefromplastic changemakers from GAIA Asia Pacific and Consumers Association of Penang, the two-day event demonstrated that Zero Waste solutions are happening in the region and it is the way to go!
Watch the highlights!

People all over the world are already finding real and innovative solutions focused on reusing sustainable materials instead of throwaway plastics. Greenpeace International is calling the world’s biggest plastic polluters to invest in sustainable, reusable ways to deliver their products - #ReuseRevolution!
Read more

You've identified the top plastic polluters in #BrandAudit2019. Now it's time to call them out!

Watch out for our global brand audit report - Branded v2.0 - set to be launched next week! #breakfreefromplastic members from all over the world are coming together to tell corporations we've had enough. Join us for a Global Week of Action from Nov 6-15!
Learn more

As the Shale Insight Conference convenes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the shale gas industry plans its future including MORE plastic production, we are coming together to protest the industry and protect our water. Speakers include Cheryl Angel — indigenous leader, wise (Sioux) Lakota elder woman, mother of five children, and lifelong devoted water protector who helped initiate and maintain the Standing Rock camp since April 2016.
Join us

Out now: New reusable solutions report from Break Free From Plastic Europe and the Rethink Plastic alliance! Check out the report to see how governments and businesses are slashing the consumption of single-use plastic across Europe.

CIEL is celebrating 30 years

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL))

Thirty years ago, two environmental advocacy attorneys shared a pint with two international law attorneys in a bustling DC pub. Airing their frustrations over the limits of domestic environmental law, they came to a pivotal realization: they needed to join forces.

And thus, in 1989, the Center for International Environmental Law was born, with the hope of addressing the environmental concerns that transcend national boundaries, from climate change to toxic exposure to deforestation.

In the ensuing 30 years, we've made significant progress, like supporting the first case to connect climate change and human rights, exposing massive illegal logging in Peru, and helping create the first global treaty to reduce mercury pollution. For the past three decades, we've been at the forefront of using international law in innovative ways to address some of the most pressing issues of our time.

In celebration of our thirty year anniversary, we'll be sharing some of CIEL's stories with you over the next few weeks that demonstrate our impact over the course of that time. From equipping the movement for climate accountability, to addressing the global plastic pollution crisis, to holding international development banks accountable when the harm people and ecosystems, this work would not have been possible without your support spreading the word and donating your time and resources to defend the right to a healthy planet.

Despite our victories, there still remains much to be done. In celebration of CIEL's birthday, would you consider making a meaningful gift of $30 for 30 years of progress?

We are humbled by the privilege of defending the right to a healthy planet for thirty years. Here's to the next thirty, and many more years to come.

The CIEL Team
Center for International Environmental Law

P.S. We understand that support comes in many different, valuable forms — from donating to volunteering, sharing on social media to contacting a decision-maker. If a financial gift is not a way you are able to support CIEL, or if you prefer not to receive our year-end communications for whatever reason, please click here. We'll temporarily pause our emails to you through the end of the year, and we'll be in touch again in January!

Briefing - The rise of carbon pricing

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From Eco-Business Partnerships)

There’s growing momentum to put a price on CO2 emissions. In the US, businesses are pushing for a price on carbon as an alternative to regulation amid growing public awareness of climate change. Will this resurgence put a high enough price on carbon to drive decisive climate action?

Ethical Corporation have just published a 40-page management report on the rise of carbon pricing, with expert analysis and insights on a variety of related issues.

Click here to download the complimentary 40-page carbon pricing briefing

Insights include:

  • The resurgence of the EU carbon market
  • US business pushing for a price on carbon
  • Viewpoints from US banks and insurance companies
  • Lessons learnt from British Columbia’s carbon tax
  • China’s moves to put a national price on carbon

Critical Connectivity: Isolated Protected Areas Could Become Epicenters of Extinction

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From ALERT)

Famed biologist Daniel Janzen once proclaimed, “No park is an island.” What Janzen meant is that the isolation of a park is corrosive for its ecology and deadly for its biodiversity.

The natural movements of species across landscapes are as essential to life as the flows of wind and water. But such movements are being stymied as parks and protected areas become increasingly isolated from their surrounding natural habitats—thanks to the ever-expanding footprint of agriculture, infrastructure, and other human activities.

Isolated protected areas lack the gene flow and demographic stability that arise from wildlife movement. As a result, they can become “extinction vortices” for vulnerable species—areas where small population sizes, inbreeding, losses to poachers and encroachers, and high mortality in surrounding modified habitats collectively conspire to drive species to local extinction.

Read the full article here.

MUST WATCH! What if a nuclear weapon was exploded over a major city today?

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From ICAN)

There is a powerful new video about the catastrophic consequences of a nuclear attack, and it is trending on Youtube. Will you help us keep it that way, so that millions of new people can see why it is so important to get rid of these inhumane weapons for good?

This in-depth video breaks down the consequences of a nuclear attack on a modern city, from the very first second of the blast to the health effects felt decades later. The video is the result of a collaboration between popular Youtube video creators Kurzgesagt and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC). As you may know, we also work closely with the ICRC to spread the message that the only way to prevent the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons is to ban them altogether.

Right now, this video is doing so well on Youtube that it’s #Trending. This means that millions of people -- who may not know much about the impact of nuclear weapons yet -- will see this video and learn why it’s time to end nuclear weapons for good. Will you help us make sure it stays Trending? Invite your friends and family to watch it too.

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

GAIA: Zero Waste Movement, interactive incineration map, health impacts related to waste incineration technologies

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

(From GAIA's October Newsletter)


From Buenos Aires to Boston, Sardinia to San Fernando, GAIA members around the world are leading their cities towards Zero Waste. To celebrate this revolutionary work, this month GAIA is excited to release a new website showcasing solutions from across the globe with stories, case studies, and tools to inspire and resource zero waste advocates. Click here to explore, and be sure to share on social media!

Zero Waste Australia releases interactive incineration map

This new interactive map shows the current 17 waste incinerator projects planned for Australia some of which are already operating. These facilities combined will burn 3,909,500 million tonnes of waste every year. This will contribute more than 4 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year, a major climate pollution threat for Australia.

Check the map and learn more about Zero Waste Australia

In more news from Australia, the Australian Public Health Association has published a report about the health impacts related to waste incineration technologies. The report confirms that "contamination of food and ingestion of pollutants is a significant risk pathway for both nearby and distant residents."

Download the full report.
Read National Toxics Network's media release here.

What exactly is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

(From Prof Andy Lowe's latest blog post)

It's basically a big patch of floating rubbish in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but what is it made of and how did it get there?

One of the key problems with plastics is that they take a long time to break down and decompose naturally. Plastic items can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills, including plastic bags which take 10-1000 years, and plastic bottles can take 450 years or more.

With so much plastic hanging around for long periods of time it is only inevitable that some makes its way into our water ways and oceans, causing big problems. It is estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastic are entering the ocean each year from rivers. By the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

More than half of this plastic is less dense than the water, meaning that it will not sink once it enters the sea. The stronger, more buoyant plastics can transported 1000s of kilometres. They persist floating in the oceans, transported by sea currents and finally accumulate in what are known as offshore ‘plastic accumulation zones’.

Read the full article here.

Places You Love Alliance Member Update - EPBC Review

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

(From Places You Love)

Dear Places You Love Alliance members and friends,

It has been a little while since the last Places You Love Alliance update, but we have been very busy behind the scenes.

Since May, the Places You Love Management Committee and Campaign Team have been working together to develop a new Strategic Plan that enables us to deliver our vision - That nature is valued, protected and thrives.

The Campaign Team has also been working to operationalise this Strategic Plan, with the most urgent work focused on the upcoming Review of the EPBC Act which is expected to commence in late October.

As an Alliance we want to be prepared to respond as quickly and effectively to the Review when it kicks off.

Our current understanding is that the Review will be headed by an Independent Reviewer and advised by an expert panel. We anticipate there will be a relatively short period in which to prepare formal submissions.

The Alliance leadership groups are preparing for a range of scenarios and opportunities for engagement for Alliance organisations, experts and the general community.

We will provide Alliance members with a submission writing guide and outline key messages around the review for you to share with your members.

We will also be seeking your involvement in a series of webinars that we are aiming to hold in November and December. The purpose of these webinars will be to discuss our shared approach, share information on strategy and tactics and identify other shared opportunities.

We will circulate another update as soon as possible after the EPBC Review is announced. In the meantime please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have questions.

The Alliance Campaign Team meets regularly to progress the campaign for a new generation of national environment laws. Ideas, suggestions and requests are always welcome. You can send us an email at info@placesyoulove.org.

Stay tuned!

Places You Love Alliance Campaign Team

Fossil free wins in Sweden & Brazil!

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

(From Fossil Free News)

Targeted campaigns have achieved big wins in the last two weeks, from a fossil gas terminal blocked in Sweden, to oil and gas exploration held off near one of Brazil’s sensitive coral reefs.

The Swedish government decided last week to deny the EU-backed Gothenburg gas terminal its final permit on climate grounds. Read this inspiring letter from Fossilgasfällan, the local group that made it happen with years of resistance and a hundreds-strong blockade in September.

Do you want to start your own local group to fight the fossil fuel age? There are plenty of resources to help you get started.

These are the 36 financial institutions that won’t invest in nuclear weapons

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

(From ICAN)

We often hear about the bad news, while the good news gets quietly buried, so today we want to make sure you don’t miss the list of champions that are cutting ties with nuclear weapons producing companies. Every year, our partners at PAX release the Don’t Bank on the Bomb Hall of Fame to celebrate the growing group of banks, pension funds, insurers and other financial institutions that won’t bank on the bomb. And in this 2019 edition, another 14 new institutions have made the Hall of Fame by comprehensively excluding any financial connections to nuclear weapons producers, bringing the total up to 36!

Don't Bank on the Bomb Hall of Fame

The financial institutions in the Hall of Fame​ didn't get there by themselves, their clients, people like you, nudged them over the line in this race to the top. Now, they are leading the way to the end of nuclear weapons. Together, these institutions keep at least EUR 1.6 trillion out of the nuclear weapons industry, inspire the 41 Runners-up institutions to do even better, and challenge those that don’t have any such policy in place or actively invest in nuclear weapons to get on the right side of history.

So today, we want to put these institutions in the spotlight, and celebrate their commitments. Will you help us?

Congratulate them on Twitter >>

or spread the word: forward this email to a friend >>

ICAN Australia: a few bits of good news

Sunday, 20 October 2019

(From ICAN Australia)

Dominica has ratified the nuclear weapon ban treaty, bringing the number of states parties to 33. The treaty is now two-thirds of the way to entry-into-force. Congrats to the entry-into-force team working hard at the UN.

The City of Port Phillip endorsed the Cities Appeal last week, becoming the 23rd Australian council to do so. Congrats to local ICAN advocates Margie Beavis, Peter Karamoskos and Fred Mendelsohn.

NT Labor passed a resolution at their conference yesterday declaring their support for the treaty and calling on Australia to sign and ratify it as soon as possible. The motion was moved by Judy Buckley and passed unanimously. Thanks to our partner organisation the Alice Springs Peace Action Think Tank for their role in making this happen. Resolutions supporting the treaty have now been passed by the NT, WA, SA, TAS and ACT Labor branches.

Lastly, we had this opinion piece published in the Canberra Times on Friday: Nuclear hypocrisy can't continue.

Let's celebrate all the wins and keep at it!

ICAN Australia

FYI: Universal Basic Income (UBI)

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

(From Rowland Benjamin - Informaction)

The Universal Basic Income is a proposed regular cash payment given to all adult citizens regardless of need with the goal of reducing or eliminating poverty and its effects. The income is automatically paid into a bank account weekly or monthly, and the amount pain is unaffected by occupation, gender, family status, housing costs, whether additional money is earned or the person contributes in any way to society.

Existing social security systems have conditions attached and recipients have to search for work, pass a means test, participate in training programs, submit to drug tests, vaccinate their children and send them to school. A UBI is unconditional, there is no requirement for the person to work and it is not means tested. With a UBI the recipient would be free to live their life any way they choose.

The income is paid to people with paid jobs and people without jobs, people with assets and people without assets, single and partnered people, people who live with people with assets and people who live with people who don’t, and people with disabilities and people without.

The income would be sufficient to meet a person's basic needs, in other words it would be above the poverty line. Keeping all members of society above this threshold would enable them to live in dignity and fully participate in public life and eliminate the scourge of poverty from the whole of society.

Capitalism moves through repeating boom and bust cycles and levels of employment can vary greatly within these cycles. High levels of unemployment often occur during periods of economic depression and under-employment can occur during periods of relatively high economic activity, resulting in large numbers of people living in poverty. Currently there is also a trend towards greater levels of automation and artificial intelligence, driving down wages and the number of paid jobs and intensifying levels of poverty even further.

Several different UBI models have been proposed, ranging from modest schemes designed to simplify the existing social security system to more progressive plans to transform society. The UBI could remain constant throughout adult life or it could vary with age. A small payment could be given to children. Young adults from 18 to 24 could start with a relatively high payment to support them with their education and training. With greater levels of expected employment after about 24, the payment could gradually decrease and then after 65 the payment increase again when the person is no longer working.

Unwarranted concerns have been raised about the cost of introducing a UBI. The UBI is really just a more streamline form of social welfare system, which already exist in most developed countries. Other concerns are that it leads to idleness. For the UBI to work it needs to be coupled with programs to engage people in voluntary constructive activities. When the UBI has freed people from poverty and despair they will be able to use their free time more productively. They will have the time to invent things, develop new ideas, and use art, music, and literature, to advance culture. With their new skills they will be able to re-enter the market and contribute to society either as an employee or as business start-up. They will want to re-enter the market to earn a better income and to put their new skills and ideas into practice. People are not lazy. They just want to do interesting, satisfying and productive work - not mindless jobs that they hate and should be replaced by robots.

There are concerns that a UBI will have a negative impact on the economy, but the economy improve because more skilled people enter the market. And there are concerns that a UBI will force people to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to authority in exchange for protection and financial security. This is true but society is already a highly interdependent system and if the UBI is introduced it will simply replace it with another highly interdependent system.

The UBI is a safety net and stop gap solution for addressing poverty. It does not however address the cause of the problem, which is the structure of capitalism, nor does it address other problems caused by capitalism such as environmental degradation.


September Law Alert | EDO Qld

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

(From EDO Qld)

What a whirlwind September was!

It was heartening to see the huge numbers of Australians in so many cities and towns supporting climate action, and your EDO solicitors across Australia have been instrumental in some incredible litigation and law reform wins!

We can feel it - the tide is turning, the legal landscape on climate is changing, and we are more determined than ever to keep this momentum going.

There are many actions we can take together in the fight for justice:

  • Our Government promised Queenslanders a strong, clear climate change and renewable energy plan by July 2019. Now Queensland is on fire, over 65% of our state is in serious drought, our Reef is dying and still we have seen no plan. Ask the Government for our Green Papers now.
  • Following the alarming decision on Acland, join us in asking Queensland Mining Minister Lynham to deliver a legislative amendment to reinstate what we all understood - that groundwater is the lifeblood of both Queensland and Australia and must remain a crucial part of environmental assessment for all coal mines. Stand with farmers and save our groundwater.

Thank you for your continued support, you truly make our work possible. We hope you enjoy this month's Law Alert below, packed with great environmental law news and EDO legal action about Reef, Sharks and Climate wins from across Australia.

Warm regards,

Jo-Anne Bragg
CEO & Solicitor, EDO Qld