With Environment Ministers meeting tomorrow to make decisions about recycling’s future following Chinese bans on Australian material, a survey released today shows that 88% of Australians support government action to assist the recycling sector. The survey was conducted by leading polling firm Crosby|Textor.

Pete Shmigel, ACOR CEO, said: “This survey shows the Australian public overwhelmingly supports leadership by governments to re-boot recycling. Across all States, age groups, city and country, and social and political lines, Australians are resoundingly saying to Ministers: act now for domestic recycling in Australia to survive and thrive.

“Australians especially support: having a first-ever national plan for recycling; governments buying more recycled content products, and; making it compulsory for the packaging industry to produce goods that are both recyclable and contain recycled content.”

Yaron Finkelstein, Crosby|Textor CEO, said: “You don’t often see very high figures of overwhelming support for policy changes like we saw on this issue.”

In addition to 88% of all respondents supporting government action, the survey also found:

· Groups most in favour of government action: aged 65+ (94%); weekly recyclers (92%); Coalition voters (92%); females aged 55+ (92%); males aged 55+ (91%)

· 51% opposed increases of up to $50 per year in Council rates for recycling

· 51% of Queenslanders supported introduction of waste disposal levy in their State

· 96% reported regularly participating in recycling

· Main reasons for participating in recycling: reduce rubbish to landfill (76%) and protect the environment (68%)

· Some 50% aware of China’s ban on Australian recyclate exports

The Australian Council of Recycling, the Waste Management Association of Australia and the Boomerang Alliance, a coalition of environment groups, have jointly called on the Meeting of Environment Ministers to take decisive action on Friday, such as initiating a National Circular Economy and Recycling Plan with a $150m one-off investment in rebooting recycling.

“The community knows recycling makes sense and that’s why they participate. They have made the system strong over 30 years and it’s up to Ministers on Friday to future-focus recycling for its next 30 years as a domestic industry that’s a key part of a circular economy,” Shmigel said.

“If there is a lack of leadership and concrete commitments, this survey shows the community could wonder why environmental results, jobs, and their own efforts are being put at risk,” Shmigel said.

The nation-wide survey by Crosby|Textor of 1000 randomly selected, representative Australians was conducted on April 16th to 18th, and was commissioned by ACOR, the peak organisation for Australia’s major recycling companies. The margin of error was 3.1%.

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