Recycling industry ignored in lead-up to waste export ban

The Australian Greens MPs

The Government’s failure to mandate Australia’s recycling targets is to blame for any recyclable items sent to landfill because of tomorrow’s introduction of a waste export ban.

Greens spokesperson for Waste and Recycling, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, said the waste and recycling sector’s concerns about tomorrow’s change were not new.

“The recycling industry has been very clear in voicing its concerns and demands in the lead-up to the national waste export ban, and the Environment Minister chose to ignore these.

“The recycling sector has consistently called for mandatory national packaging targets – such as minimum recycled content in packaging – in order to have the confidence to invest in the infrastructure necessary to process plastic and other wastes banned from export.

“The Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020 would have mandated the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s voluntary recycling and packaging targets, had the Liberal Party not refused to support Greens amendments.

“These targets were supported by the recycling industry and a broad range of stakeholders, but the Liberals let party politics get in the way of introducing good legislation.

“The recycling industry has made it abundantly clear that voluntary packaging and recycling targets have been a complete failure in the past. The industry clearly has no trust that voluntary targets will be met by packaging companies in the future without government intervention.

“Confidence in meeting these targets is critical to the recycling sector as it provides the certainty necessary to underpin investments and upgrades in recycling technology and capacity in this nation, all of which is necessary to effectively deal with our own waste problems.

“The Liberal National Party coalition has repeatedly chosen to back big packaging companies that oppose mandatory targets over a recycling industry that demands them, and which employs over 60,000 Australians.

“The reason the recycling industry continues to be sidelined by the Liberal National Party coalition is because this Government is more concerned with receiving donations from powerful packaging companies than supporting local communities and the environment.”

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