Governments agree to 100% recyclable packaging by 2025

Commonwealth, state and territory environment ministers have agreed to a target that 100 per cent of Australian packaging be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025 or earlier to cut down on the amount of waste we produce.

The 100 per cent target, in response to the China Ban issue, will be delivered by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), working with its 950 member companies.

Brooke Donnelly, CEO of APCO, said the organisation would support more innovative packaging design, enhance consumer education, as well as bolster the re-use and the incorporation of recycled content within end markets.

Commonwealth, state and territory governments will examine opportunities to further develop the nation's recycling industry to process the four per cent of recyclable waste that would have previously gone to China.

To increase demand for recyclable waste, Ministers agreed to advocate, where appropriate, to increase the recyclable materials in goods purchased by governments, such as paper, road base and construction materials.

Following the success of television, computer, tyre and oil product stewardship schemes, Ministers also agreed to fast-track the development of new product stewardship schemes for photovoltaic solar panels and batteries.

Ministers have brought forward the review of Australia’s National Waste Policy to be completed within a year. This will ensure that governments are taking the most appropriate and timely actions to support a sustainable recycling industry.

In addition, the Federal Government has asked the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Australian Renewable Energy Agency to prioritise ‘waste-to-energy’ projects, building on the $200 million already invested in this area.

Generating energy from waste that is unable to be recycled is common in other countries, particularly in Europe.

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