Federal Labor is courting environmentally conscious voters with a $3 million package to stop single-use plastic bottles ending up in the ocean.
On the 10th of March, Opposition environment and water spokesman Tony Burke announced the partnership with Clean Oceans. The partnership will run over four years to stop plastic pollution in Australian coastal communities not through clean ups, but rather, through education and prevention.
Under the package, the Nippers Education Program will get up to 600,000 reusable water bottles. Surf Life Saving clubs will score help installing up to 600 water-refill stations at beaches and help with education initiatives and procedures to move towards zero waste.
“Labor will allocate up to $3 million over four years to [Clean Oceans] and work with other government jurisdictions and stakeholders with the ultimate goal of zero waste on our beaches,” Mr Burke said in a statement.
“Single-use plastics, including PET water bottles, are some of the most wasteful and environmentally damaging products, with thousands of them ending up in our oceans every day, polluting our pristine beaches and choking our marine wildlife.”
Mr Burke said the party planned to work with surf clubs and Clean Oceans, which supports projects to reduce pollution, to “eventually eliminate single-use plastic water bottles from our beaches”.
Labor hopes to build on Clean Oceans’ education and infrastructure programs already rolled out to nippers at 10 Surf Life Saving clubs and primary schools in Australia.
About Clean Oceans
Clean Oceans is a nonprofit organisation, founded by three passionate ocean conservationists, dedicated to a vision to ban all single use plastics on Australian beaches by 2020. Clean Oceans focuses efforts on education and infrastructure to encourage behaviour change. Starting with the kids and adults who attend the 317 Surf Lifesaving Clubs around Australia. The Surf Clubs not only save lives, they are also the custodians of the beach and ocean culture. Get in touch if you’d like to get involved.