Thursday, April 18, 2024

NSW EPA sticks to plastics deadline

NSW Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, has welcomed news that the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will hold its position that Australia’s major retailers, Coles and Woolworths, will not receive more time to move high-risk soft plastic stockpiles.

The EPA has requested that Coles and Woolworths must move stockpiles of soft plastics from eight high-risk sites by 12 May as per the deadline in the original notices.

The retailers have been granted an extension for the removal of stockpiles at seven sites classified as “low-medium” risk.

Coles and Woolworths have had 10 weeks to eliminate the potential fire and pollution risk posed by the stockpiling of about 5,200 tonnes of soft plastic after being served final Clean-up Notices. This decision strikes the right balance between reducing risk and being practical to fix the problem, the Minister said.

The retailers must also work on developing a lawful solution for the materials, the EPA said.

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