Labor outlines recycling plan

The federal opposition has outlined its flagship $290 million plan to cut waste and improve recycling around the nation.

The plan will see an outright ban on single-use plastic bags and micro-plastics in a bid to mitigate the environmental impacts of plastics.

“Plastic has a devastating impact on our natural environment – more than a thirds of the world’s sea turtles were found to have plastic waste in their stomachs, and it is estimated around 90 per cent of seabirds eat plastic waste,” opposition leader Bill Shorten said in a statement.

The broader Recycling and Waste Strategy will include:

  • The creation of a National Container Deposit Scheme, with the opposition pledging collaboration with the states under COAG.

  • Establishment of a National Waste Commissioner to assist state and local government bodies in educating the community on waste management.

  • A $60 million investment in the domestic recycling industry under a new National Recycling Fund.

  • $15 million in investments to assist in cleaning the Pacific Ocean of plastics.

  • Setting targets for government to purchase recycled products.

The plan drew support from the local government sector, with Local Government NSW welcoming the announcement of the planned formation of the National Recycling Fund.

“This is the sort of approach that is required to tackle the very real challenges facing Australia following China’s move to more strictly enforce rules on the acceptance of foreign waste,” LGNSW’s President Linda Scott said.

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