Waste war waged

Pilbara News - - News - Melissa Price, Fed­eral As­sis­tant En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter and Mem­ber for Du­rack

How we man­age the 64 mil­lion tonnes of waste Aus­tralia pro­duces each year has be­come a talk­ing point, par­tic­u­larly since China’s de­ci­sion not to im­port any­thing but the most pris­tine prod­ucts for re­cy­cling.

Aus­tralia has only been ex­port­ing about 4 per cent of its waste to China for re­cy­cling. It rep­re­sents 1.3 mil­lion tonnes of waste, and in­cludes about 30 per cent of paper and card­board and 35 per cent of plas­tics.

China’s de­ci­sion has raised ques­tions like: how much do we know about what hap­pens to the ma­te­rial in the re­cy­cling bin, where does it go, who pro­cesses it, and what can it be used to pro­duce?

At the meet­ing of the en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ters the other week in Mel­bourne, I, along with my col­league Fed­eral En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­berg and en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ters from all of our States and ter­ri­to­ries and lo­cal gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives, tack­led these is­sues.

We’ve de­vel­oped a na­tional “war on waste” plan to help Aus­tralians re­duce, re­use and re­cy­cle. Min­is­ters have en­dorsed a tar­get of 100 per cent of all Aus­tralian pack­ag­ing be­ing re­cy­clable, com­postable or re­us­able by 2025 or ear­lier. Gov­ern­ments will work with the Aus­tralian Pack­ag­ing Covenant Or­gan­i­sa­tion to reach this tar­get. Min­is­ters also agreed to ad­vo­cate for in­creased use of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als in the goods Gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try buy, and to col­lab­o­rate on cre­at­ing new mar­kets for re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als.

From avoid­ing plas­tic bags in su­per­mar­kets to pur­chas­ing prod­ucts made from re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als we can re­verse a global trend.

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