Skip navigation

Greens NSW Policy Initiative: Solving the soft plastics crisis

profile image
Amanda Cohn
NSW Greens MP
4 March 2023

The Greens have a plan to sustainably recycle soft plastics in NSW. The collapse of RedCycle and the discovery of millions of tonnes of stockpiled soft plastics has revealed a deeply broken plastics recycling system. It costs producers more to recycle soft plastics than to throw them away, so most soft plastics still end up in landfill, or, even worse, in our waterways and oceans.

This soft plastics crisis is a result of decades of policy failure by the Liberal-National Government. They’ve made households responsible for waste and let manufacturers off the hook, while ignoring the government's role in mandating ambitious reuse targets. Without creating a demand for recycled soft plastics through mandated reuse targets in plastic products, as well as things like building materials, roads and paths, and street furniture, soft plastics recycling schemes will never be viable. The Greens have a plan to make soft plastic recycling convenient and cost-effective by bringing together both ends of the waste cycle - manufacturers and end users. We will create a ‘Plastics Reduction Taskforce’, phase-out soft plastics, and dedicate 100% of the Waste Levy towards reducing waste, with $100 million per year from the Levy directed to establishing sustainable soft plastics recycling schemes in NSW. Our plan will create a real closed-loop system.


▲Immediately redirect the entirety of the more than $800 million per annum waste levy towards dealing with the waste crisis

▲Dedicate $100 million from the Waste Levy towards establishing soft plastics recycling schemes.

▲Immediately establish a ‘Plastics Crisis Taskforce’ to develop a s soft plastics recycling strategy

▲Mandate procurement targets for recycled plastic content in single use plastics as well as products like roads and pathways, railway bollards and street furniture.

▲Expand the trial of curbside soft plastics recycling to Sydney.

▲Support and invest in small businesses with existing soft plastics recycling schemes to scale up.



The NSW Govt currently collects more than $800 million from the Waste Levy each year. Most of that money is not used for waste reduction.The Greens will dedicate 100% of the waste levy towards resolving the waste crisis, with $100 million of the levy used to enact the recommendations of the Plastics Taskforceto kick-start commercial scale collection, recycling and reuse of soft plastics, and assist the development of innovative technologies. The Greens will also use a portion of the Waste Levy to support and invest in small businesses with existing soft plastics recycling schemes to scale up.


In conjunction with the Taskforce, The Greens will set ambitious mandatory procurement targets for industry, manufacturers, and local and state governments. Targeting both producers and end-users will ensure the use of recycled content and create a market that favours recycled over raw materials, removing the need to stockpile and preventing increased costs for households.


NSW needs a long term plan to solve its soft plastics crisis. The Greens will create a ‘NSW Plastics Taskforce’ to develop a plan for recycling and phasing out soft plastics in NSW. The Taskforce will bring together manufacturers, retailers, Local Government, waste collectors and recyclers, industry and end-users to ensure that the plan developed is viable into the future and provides the certainty needed to secure investment and transition.


Kerbside soft plastics recycling is already being trialled in Victoria, South Australia and parts of NSW. We know that the best way to make recycling work is to make it convenient. The Greens will expand kerbside recycling, which already has high levels of soft plastic contamination, to include soft plastics.


profile image
Amanda Cohn
NSW Greens MP
4 March 2023


UPDATED: Greens call for police out of Mardi Gras celebration

The Greens are continuing to call for the NSW Police Force to exclude itself from the 2024 Mardi Gras parade, as a sign of respect, deference, and commitment to change.

STATEMENT: More than apology needed from government and police on LGBTIQ+ hate crimes

Queer communities are reeling following the alleged murders of Luke Davies and Jesse Baird last week by a member of the NSW Police Force, using a police firearm.

“It should never cost the clinician to actually give a shit” inquiry hears

The final hearing for the mental health inquiry has heard that the current mental health care system is failing domestic and family violence survivors and how emergency departments are used as a catch all when there is nowhere else for people to go.

Greens call for State Government assistance for Mardi Gras to relocate Fair Day

Mardi Gras Fair Day will have to be relocated if it is to go ahead following the discovery of asbestos at Victoria Park. The Greens are calling for NSW Government assistance to support the event’s urgent relocation so that it can go ahead this weekend and to ensure that Mardi...