Call for Canberra to enact five major waste strategies
The Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) and national recycling campaign group Boomerang Alliance have released five priority actions for the next federal government to implement in order to solve Australia’s waste and recycling crisis.
ACOR CEO Peter Shmigel said, “With Asian markets for recyclable materials from Australia closing down and local governments confronted with potentially sending their kerbside recycling to landfill, it’s time to recognise that the system Australians value is greatly under threat. The National Waste Policy, recently agreed upon [by] all states, tries to set out an agenda for the future, but its aims cannot be achieved without investment and policy support.”
Director of the Boomerang Alliance Jeff Angel added, “The world is facing a plastic pollution epidemic caused by plastic wastes that can’t be re-used, composted or recycled. Australia must play its part in breaking that excessive plastic habit.
“Without concerted and effective action, Australia is set to go back 50 years to the days when waste was dumped or burned and the only things recycled were the bottles collected for a refund.”
The two organisations are calling on all political parties to support five key measures:
- $150 million investment in a national recycling industry development fund along with clean energy funds to build a domestic recycling industry, create 500 new jobs and address climate change.
- Tax incentives for a business and industry Buy Recycled program to meet a 30% average recycled content of products by 2025.
- Strengthen the Product Stewardship Act on imported packaging and meet packaging targets of 70% composted or recycled by 2025.
- Adopt a plastic pollution reduction strategy within 6 months of government formation to address escalating plastic waste problems in industry, agriculture and community sectors and in the terrestrial and marine environment.
- Develop a system to accurately record waste, litter and resource recovery statistics and recognise the broad social, environmental and economic benefits of resource recovery.
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