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Plastics Assignment On Cleaning Up Our Act Policy


Task: This assignment has a focus on preparing your policy arguments using the evidence available to you. At any one time there are a number of draft government policy papers often termed discussion papers, that are available for public consultation.
Choose ONE policy consultationas the focus for this assignment. Your task will be to prepare a response/submission to the draft policy/discussion paper. This is your chance to argue for improvements to the draft policy.
Your response to the draft policy document should include:
1. An outline of the public health points relevant to the policy area that the policy needs to address, using evidence to support your claims.
2. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the draft policy (from a health in all policies perspective). Comment on key public health principles/outcomes, identifying relevant sections of the draft policy document that support/ do not support these.
3. State your recommended improvements/changes to the policy and justify why these are needed
4. Discuss the possible outcomes expected,following the changes that you advocate and give evidence that demonstrates why these are likely to be effective.
5. Conclude and identify2-3 key articles/reports that you recommend should be considered in future policy reviews and brieflyjustify their selection.


Policies about plastics
In this plastics assignment, we will learn about several facts and necessary information related to plastics. Plastics can stay in the soil for as long as a hundred years, and when they breakdown further, they cannot be entirely gotten rid of. This possibility shows that such an occurrence brings about environmental pollution, which can go a long way to affecting our health directly or indirectly. The public health organization in the country has tried to come up with measures that can curb unnecessary waste (Willis, Maureaud, Wilcox and Hardesty, 2018). Coming up with clearly defined policies to curb plastic waste is one of the best reduce waste released to the environment.

Public health aspects
The present paper on plastics assignment outlines the health hazards posed by plastic waste, contamination of soil, water, air and, the food chain. This has been identified in this plastics assignment since plastics have been found in deep seas and lakes, explaining the fact that our water is contaminated. Plastics are said to adsorb and transport toxic chemicals besides leaching out other poisonous substances to the environment.

Plastics render our environment dirty, especially when they are not well disposed of. These same plastics can also harbour bacteria and disease-causing organisms, which can expose the community to other illnesses. Releasing them to water sources affects marine life leading to the death of crops at the water sources and even the death of the organisms in the water source (Asuquo 2018). Prolongation of this act can lead to the extinction of marine life since the plastics even though they may break down after a long time; they still can be gotten rid of completely.

In humans, when the micro and nano plastics are ingested through food or water and sometimes inhaled, they are said to enter the bloodstream. Theses plastics can be the cause of food poisoning and sometimes may lead to other complications in the body such as gene mutation due to the chemicals taken in, and this may affect the offspring given birth to later in life. Cancers too can develop from such occurrences, and sometimes they may make the research process of the diseases tedious since the root cause of the diseases may be easily overlooked.

The soil may turn unproductive due to the presence of this micro and nano plastics in it. This is because the soil PH may be affected, and other soil nutrients tampered with. This may also encourage leaching; hence the soils cannot hold other nutrients long enough for the plants grown to develop (Babu and Chouksey, 2011). These contaminants in soil can also be washed to water sources transferring the effects to a wider area then we can control.

According to Cleaning Up Our Act policy by NSW minister considered in the plastics assignment, there is a better and logical approach to curb plastic waste. The suggestions made in the Cleaning Up Our Act paper follows through the plastic life, starting from its generation to its end-life. Reducing plastic waste at the point of generation by coming up with new ways of packaging that are sustainable or reducing production to necessity only is one of the ways to regulate plastic waste. To achieve sustainability, it is important to understand that NSW manages and values plastic within a circular economy and therefore, there is need to deliver human and environmental health outcomes (Keane, 2020).

The Cleaning Up Our Act policy illustrated in the present report on plastics assignment addresses different ways of curbing plastic waste at all stages, reducing the possibility of some areas where plastic waste is produced being overlooked. Giving it the general view will help the different entities that produce and use paper to come up with strategies from the outline given on how to manage plastic waste well. Other critical areas such as single-use plastic items (Maguire et al.,2018) to be gotten rid of or given more than one use has also been addressed within this plastics assignment since it is one of the highest producers of plastic waste.

NSW Plastic policy also puts forward ideas on plastic waste recycling, which is one of the best ways to regulate waste, has also been clearly outlined (Faraca and Astrup, 2019). This discussion gives room to all stakeholders in the plastic industry to learn and come up with a strategy that will work for the respective companies or their users.

I find the research approach given by the Cleaning Up Our Work policy portrayed herein plastics assignment to be unique and ensures no issues arising take long before being detected, and better ways to evolve to curb plastic waste management can be formulated (Ragossnig and Schneider, 2017). Long- and short-term effects of the process being undertaken can be view well in advance hence easier to handle any issues arising since were foreseen. Clean Up our act is based on three key principles that include reliability, sustainability and affordability (Keane, 2020).

In this first principle, plastic is reused, manufactured, recycled and disposed with minimal interference with service and at the same time meeting the community expectations. For instance, the international market is resilient for recovered plastics (Keane, 2020).

This second principle mentioned in this plastics assignment is based on the fact that plastic is managed and valued in NSW within a circular economy, thereby providing improved human health and environmental outcomes (Keane, 2020).

This last principle aims at improving the usage and management of plastic with least adverse effects on consumers ranging from costs, recycling and plastic reuse having the available economic opportunities in mind (Keane, 2020).

According to Keane (2020), the general view given by the policy discussion from generation – processing – end-of-life may miss out on some small details that may be generating more waste. Even though the more significant areas are managed, the small parts that may be overlooked when taking the broader view may accumulate over time hence arising issues over time.

The policy discussed in the plastics assignment, however, fails to outline the different roles that those involved should play may bring about a conflict of interest. The companies producing may choose to neglect to collect litter if it does not add up to their profit margins. The non-profit organizations that work towards environmental conservation may be at a loss since they will have to take up extra responsibilities. This shows the need to have clearly defined policies on how each entity involved should participate (Keane, 2020).

What are the valuable recommendations basis the scenario of plastics assignment?

  1. We should come up with policies for companies producing plastic on how they should manage them, especially their collection at end-of-life. Those that cannot be collected manually or tedious to collect manually like cigarette butts can also have new ways of collecting them developed, such as having smoking zones where the cigarettes can be easily disposed of appropriately (Prata et al., 2019).
  2. The other recommendation is narrowing down the approach of plastic waste management to give more transparent details, especially to entities that produce the highest amount of plastics. This is to avoid impunity scenarios due to an obscure law (Godfrey et al., 2019).
  3. Opportunities that can come up from the process of plastic management should be given attention. This will enable the projects to exist long enough since they will not depend on any organization or personnel for funds to run these vital but straightforward initiatives (Godfrey et al., 2019).

Possible outcomes
Clearly outlined policies show the community the stand of the nation towards controlling plastics waste. Having the community and the different stakeholders involved makes it easier to accomplish the goals desired since everyone is informed. This also shows that having public campaigns to educate the masses will solve issues such as making people informed of smoking zones making the collection of the minute plastic waste easy to collect (Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles and Siegel, 2019). Since the small in size waste is easy to ignore, they may be the highest cause of health hazards.

Narrowing down the approach stated in the plastics assignment will make the smaller entities that are being targeted through, the larger outlook to be well aware of their responsibility. Having the responsibilities clearly outlined will mean the law has grounds from which action can be taken in case the policies are not followed to the later or when they are ignored.

Companies that will come up with ways to enlarge their profit margins in the process of recycling the plastic products will be more encouraged to support the initiative than when the initiative is an additional cost to them. This will entice more companies producing plastics to the initiative meaning less work for the organizations working specifically to reduce waste in the country (Ghodrat et al., 2019).

Articles suggested
A draft on the National Waste Policy Framework which focuses on increasing resources and reducing plastic waste. The discussion paper by NSW used in the context of plastics assignment outlines the role of the government in reducing wastes in the environment. The policy paper was drafted in 2008 and strategized to accomplish much in ten years. This policy paper will give room for researchers to analyze the project and determine what was accomplished and what was not (Anon, 2009). It will also advise on the way forward. Since the paper gives much authority to the government to control waste, the government, through the approach, can also adjust where necessary.

The second article explored in the plastics assignment about the waste and recycling industry and brings into different attention factors that are not given attention in the major discussion described. Still, they also help reduce waste on the environment. These factors include

  1. Waste management and recycling
  2. Landfills
  3. Waste levies
  4. Challenges and opportunities in the recycling effort
  5. National leadership

This paper on plastics assignment brings a newer approach from the one described above on how waste, in general, can be curbed in the environment and, through the research, much can be obtained (Williams, 2014). Giving attention to challenges and opportunities in the recycling effort, for example, will help us know what to anticipate and how to get past the challenges. The opportunities will help make this initiative of waste management sustainable. The opportunities will also enable the projects to run long enough since capital can be obtained in the process of waste management (Waste and recycling industry in Australia – Parliament of Australia, 2018). This will also solve the problem of conflict of interest, as suggested above in the major discussion.

The policy discussion paper on plastics assignment has outlined the effects of plastic wastes on the environment. It gives a mandate to the public health organization to always invent new ways to solve the problem. The approach was taken by the paper to address the problem in a broader view making almost all the necessary parts of the process involved in this initiative.

Reference List 2018. Waste And Recycling Industry In Australia – Parliament Of Australia. [online] plastics assignment Available at: [Accessed 1 May 2020].

Asuquo, I., 2018. Plastic Waste in the Aquatic Environment: Impacts and Management. Environment, 2(1), p.1.

Babu, G., and, Chouksey, S., 2011. Stress-strain response of plastic waste mixed soil. Waste Management, 31(3), pp.481-488.

Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A. and Siegel, L., 2019. A Critical Cartography of Waste Education in Australia: Turning to a Posthumanist Framing. In Environmental Sustainability and Education for Waste Management (pp. 207-220). Springer, Singapore.

Faraca, G., and Astrup, T., 2019. Plastic waste from recycling cenCharacterizationsation and evaluation of plastic recyclability. Waste Management, 95, pp.388-398.

Ghodrat, M., Alonso, J.A., Hagare, D., Yang, R. and Samali, B., 2019. Economic feasibility of energy recovery from waste plastic using pyrolysis technology: an Australian perspective. International journal of environmental science and technology, 16(7), pp.3721-3734.

Godfrey, L., Ahmed, M.T., Gebremedhin, K.G., Katima, J.H., Oelofse, S., Osibanjo, O., Richter, U.H. and Yonli, A.H., 2019. Solid Waste Management in Africa: Governance Failure or Development Opportunity?. Plastics assignment In Regional Development in Africa. IntechOpen.

Keane, M., 2020. Cleaning Up Our Act: Redirecting The Future Of Plastic In NSW. [pdf] New South Wales: NSW Dpeartment of Planning, Industry and Environment., pp.4-29. Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2020].

Maguire, R., Johnson, H., Taboada, M.B., Barner, L. and Caldwell, G.A., 2019. A review of Single-use Plastic Waste Policy in 2018: What will 2019 hold in store?.

Prata, J., Silva, A., da Costa, J., Mouneyrac, C., Walker, T., Duarte, A. and Rocha-Santos, T., 2019. Solutions and Integrated Strategies for the Control and Mitigation of Plastic and Microplastic Pollution. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(13), p.2411.

Ragossnig, A.M. and Schneider, D.R., 2017. What is the right level of recycling of plastic waste?.

Visvanathan, C., 2011. Business and employment opportunities in waste management and recycling in Asia.

Williams, I., 2014. The importance of education to waste (resource) management. Plastics assignment Waste Management, 34(11), pp.1909-1910.

Willis, K., Maureaud, C., Wilcox, C. and Hardesty, B.D., 2018. How successful are waste abatement campaigns and government policies at reducing plastic waste into the marine environment?. Marine Policy, 96, pp.243-249.

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