Waste industry calls for urgent national recycling strategy

Peak representative bodies for the Australian waste industry are calling for the "urgent implementation" of a national strategy to deal with excess stockpiles of recyclable materials caused by a change in China's import policy.

The Australian Council of Recycling [ACOR] and the Waste Management Association of Australia [WMAA] have called on the Federal and State Governments to implement their $150 million plan to 're-boot' the local recycling industry and spurn the creation of a circular economy with the release of the inaugural Australian Circular Economy and Recycling Action Plan.

Under the proposal, the money would be spent developing the manufacturing infrastructure needed to process recyclable waste domestically, rather than exporting it overseas.

Local, state and federal governments would be required to adopt “green procurement” under an action plan to reduce Australia’s export of waste and develop a domestic economy around the reuse of recycled materials.

The new action plan details a range of short, medium and long-term plans, including:

  • a national recycling monitoring system to benchmark performance

  • removing “artificial” barriers to waste products being sent for recycling

  • mandating sustainable packaging requirements for all products sold in Australia

  • requiring producers to design for and contribute to waste reduction and product recyclability in their products and packaging

  • labelling products with recycled content.

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