Video by SHEETAL SINGH
Story by NISHANT KULKARNI
Victoria’s mounting waste problem spilled onto parliament steps, as protesters called on the State Government for swift intervention.
The state’s landfill sites have been swamped since China refused to take any more foreign waste in July 2017.
China had previously imported 30 million metric tonnes of waste from around the world, including from Australia, but ceased to do so citing public health concerns.
Since China’s decision, around 30 Victorian councils are now struggling to dispose of recyclables.
Three recycling facilities have closed and forced reusable materials into landfill.
Melbourne Greens MP Ellen Sandell said the crisis was not receiving enough attention.
Ms Sandell said the Victorian Government chose “to close their eyes and say ‘it’s fine, we’ll export the problem to China’.”
“Our plan is to make the government ban single use plastics, place a refund on bottles and cans, and create a recycling industry here in Australia,” she said.
The proposed container deposit scheme would see around 10 cents added to the price of a beverage, which is refunded when consumers return the empty drink container.
The New South Wales Government began such a scheme in 2017 and aims to this year have reduced its litter problem by 40 per cent.
Victoria and Tasmania are currently the only states without a plan to implement a container deposit scheme.
Protester Anine Cummins said it was crucial the government solved the state’s growing waste problem.
“Australians are good at recycling. As individuals we are good at putting things in the right bin - but as a country, we are rubbish at it,” Ms Cummins said.
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio was contacted for comment.