Thursday, September 30, 2010

Good bills want to become good laws - Container deposit legislation and Palm oil labelling

Parliament has been back in business this week and I have noticed there are two bills that have either just been introduced or under consideration in areas Transition Kenmore has previously spoken up about.

The first is container deposit legislation (or trash into cash as the SMH so wittily puts it), which would provide a 10 cent rebate for bottles, cans and cartons like they have in South Australia. Such a law would boost recycling rates and stop millions of these containers going to landfill everyday, or being left to litter the landscape. We supported a petition back in February to introduce this in QLD, the answer to which was basically, "we're thinking about it at a national level". Well, The Greens are trying to get a federal law past, but despite it being popular with the public, things are moving very slowly. If you'd like to see this made law, then a brief email to, or chinwag with, the new Environment Minister Tony Burke would be a good place to start.

Second up, many readers will be aware of how deforestation and habitat destruction on a massive scale has been occurring in Indonesia and Malaysia to clear rain forest for palm oil plantations. This is causing not only enormous greenhouse emissions but is also threatening species such as "the orangutan, Sumatran tiger, Asian elephant, Asian rhino and other rain-forest species with extinction". Palm oil is literally in everything, but currently it's difficult to know which products contain palm oil or whether the palm oil is actually from a sustainable source.
Enter Sen Nick Xenophon with his truth in labeling bill to make food products which contain palm oil say so, as well as allowing responsible companies to state they're using sustainable palm oil. Informed choice is a good thing and we've supported a similar petition previously. A message to our new local MP supporting this bill might be a good idea.

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