“Australia’s complacency in relying on China to buy our recyclables has exposed the vulnerabilities in our current approach and the Senate has laid down a clear pathway for Australia to create a circular economy and stop piles of plastic, paper and glass being stockpiled or heading to landfill.
We urgently need to reduce the amount of plastic waste that is ending up in landfill, in stockpiles and in our oceans…
…That, and the co-mingled recycling bins Australians are using, means we end up with contaminated waste that is difficult to re-use.
This contaminated bulk stream of recyclables has been at the heart of the failure to create a domestic manufacturing sector and end-markets from our waste, and has made it harder to ride the shocks of changes in commodity prices and China’s ban on importing contaminated recyclable waste,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.
Figures commissioned by the federal Department of the Environment and Energy from consulting firm Blue Environment show a total of 1.25 million tonnes of Australian recycling was sent to China in 2016-17…
…The establishment of a national container deposit scheme is key among the report’s recommendations, with Senator Whish-Wilson describing it as “the most critical” step towards a more clean stream of waste.”
Read the full article from the Sydney Morning Herald here