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Our waste, our responsibility and our opportunity

Our waste, our responsibility and our opportunity

28 August 2020

Media Release

The Australian Government is transforming our waste and recycling capacity and putting an end to shipping our waste overseas.

The Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020 bans overseas exports of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres. The reforms will also encourage Australian companies to take greater responsibility for the waste they generate through the products they design, manufacture and distribute. 

Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, welcomed the recycling and waste reduction initiative which he said would reduce pressure on our environment and create new job opportunities.

“This is a big step in the right direction,” Mr Gee said.

“It’s not right to be exporting our waste to other countries. We have to take responsibility for it, and these new laws mean we will be doing just that.

“Australia has set ambitious national targets to reduce the total waste generated in Australia by 10% per person, and to reduce, reuse and recycle 80% of our waste by 2030.

“These new reforms will provide a huge boost to our existing recycling and waste efforts to help meet these targets.

“Anyone who has been to visit their local tip knows about the concerning amount of waste that Australians produce each year.

“Under the Australian Government’s $190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund and National Waste Policy Action Plan every-day items that are would usually end up at the tip will be given a new life as roads, carpets, clothing, building materials and a range of other essential items.

“Investment in waste management and recycling technology and infrastructure will help grow our economy and will create 10,000 jobs over the next decade.

“In my role as Minister for Decentralisation, I am currently looking at ways that we can bring some of those new jobs to rural and regional Australia. We are well placed in the country to take on many of these new opportunities in the waste space.

“I recently visited an impressive local project where they are looking to turn municipal and agricultural waste into energy.  It was a great example of some of the opportunities for the country, not just in the recycling industry, but also in the emerging waste-to-energy sector, and I’m very keen to incorporate these kinds of jobs and progressive initiatives in Australia’s broader de-centralisation agenda. 

“This is about changing the way that Australians and Australian companies view waste management and recycling – and it’s a great opportunity to do something extremely positive for our environment.

“It’s our waste and our responsibility. It’s also our opportunity.”

Media Contact: Gabrielle.Phipps@dfat.gov.au