Next steps in getting rid of plastics

The Curby system is one way to reduce plastics waste, says Member for Gosford Liesl Tesch

Members of the public are being invited to have their say on which plastic items the NSW Government should target to help minimise harm to the environment and human health.

The discussion paper Plastics: Next Steps, which is open until February 4, identifies and addresses items and materials that are frequently littered or release microplastics into the environment, contain harmful chemical additive, or are regulated or proposed to be in other states and territories.

Member for Gosford Liesl Tesch said there were numerous items containing plastic that were problematic in the community.

“Many of the seemingly innocuous items we take for granted in our homes and everyday lives – such as lollipop sticks, bread tags and heavyweight plastic shopping bags – end up in our environment,” she said.

“Often they don’t have to be there in the first place.

“Many problematic products could be redesigned, or perhaps phased out.

“In fact, plastic is so prolific that we’re eating it, we’re breathing it and we’re drinking it.

“Takeaway food and beverage packaging are some of the most-littered plastic items, making up 32 per cent of the NSW litter stream.

“The Next Steps paper proposes to phase out the supply of some items and use suitable alternatives.

“So we’re actively encouraging industry, businesses and the community to get behind the NSW Government’s discussion paper in its bid to reduce plastic litter by 30 per cent by 2025, as well as curb the impact of microplastics and align with what’s happening across other states and territories.

Tesch said NSW alone generated 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year and only 12 per cent of it was recycled.

“Once thrown away, this waste doesn’t simply disappear,” she said.

“Plastics are an important part of many products we rely on, but not all plastics are essential.

“Often, they are produced in unsustainable ways to be used only once and discarded.”

The discussion paper, Plastics: Next Steps is available at

All feedback will inform further actions to tackle problematic and unnecessary plastics.

Tesch said about 16,000 Central Coast households were already taking simple steps towards reducing soft plastics in the environment by participating in a program called CurbCycle.

The program, available via the Curby website and app, guides and rewards the community for recycling targeted materials such as soft plastics by using their existing yellow-lid recycle bin.

The program requires registered households to collect their soft plastics in a separate plastic bag, attaching a special, supplied CurbyTag on the bag and placing it inside their yellow kerbside bin.

“Placing a special CurbyTag on any shopping bag and putting it into the yellow-lid recycling bin enables soft plastics to be collected off the line by pickers at Somersby’s Material Recovery Facility – a facility that’s run by Curby’s partner IQ Renew,” Gordon Ewart from CurbCycle said.

“We are continuing to develop the Curby platform with a view of providing households with prizes to reward this behaviour from home and are seeking to have this in place within the next 12 months subject to the support of Government and product stewards.

“It’s our mission to enable all Australians to increase recycling in a secure, fun and transparent way.”

Further information about CurbCycle can be found at

2 Comments on "Next steps in getting rid of plastics"

  1. Raelene Caletti | December 27, 2023 at 7:11 pm |

    Great for. CURBY

  2. Love plastic, hate tossers | December 28, 2023 at 2:49 am |

    Plastic is not the problem. Littering is.

    Plastic is much more useful and recyclable than paper alternatives. Paper straws and cups are disgusting and wooden knives can’t cut hot butter – but they’ve replaced the actually useful plastic ones in the name of environmentally friendliness, meanwhile, they are unrecyclable and non-resuable and still take up landfill space. If those items are indispensable and going to take up space anyway, we might as well make them out of something that’s recyclable and ACTUALLY useful.

    No one has actually addressed the real problem: littering. Until you change people’s habits of littering, replacing plastic with paper will simply mean instead of plastic litter, you’ll get (waxed) paper litter. Do I need to remind you paper is made of trees?

    Also, people reuse plastic bags for garbage bags and takeaway boxes. Paper bags weigh around 7-8 times heavier than plastic bags of the same volume and strength, so replacing plastic bags with incompressible paper bags mean you’ll need 7-8 as much space to store and transport them (think about max truck weights).

    The government did it once by banning incandescent light bulbs, which is made of 100% recyclable materials and produces the best type of light and is not damaging to eye health, with the damned mercury “energy saving” ones that are not recyclable and bad for eye health.

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