Australia's first plastic credits scheme has been launched to target banana industry waste. However, the recycling industry is calling for scrutiny. The program, developed by environmental organisation GreenCollar, collects banana bunch bags in banana-growing regions of northern Queensland for recycling or landfill disposal. Farmers earn a plastic credit for every ton of bags collected in the voluntary program, which can be sold to companies wanting to invest in sustainable waste management. Thirty-two plastic credits have been issued to two banana operators who were involved in the pilot.
According to General manager for operations at GreenCollar Anjali Nelson, there aren't any buyers for the credits yet but that there is "significant interest".
Australian Council of Recycling chief executive Suzanne Toumbourou said she endorsed recycling efforts in regional areas but when plastic was being put in landfill it was "hard to tell" what environmental change was being made. "It's interesting that there would be ... any credit applied to material that does go to landfill given that that is the right place for it to go," she said.
Miss Toumbourou wants to see "rigor" applied to any environmental claims. "We want to make sure that we're truly rewarding and recognising really great environmental, sustainable outcomes ... we need to distinguish them from initiatives that don't deliver those good outcomes."