The Australian Parliament this week passed the waste and recycling laws that cement a waste-export ban. The government said the new laws would also protect the marine environment and create economic opportunities and jobs during Australia’s post-Covid recovery.
Environment minister Sussan Ley said the passage of Australia’s first-ever national waste legislation, the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020, demonstrates the government’s commitment to Australia taking responsibility for its own waste and is a giant step towards achieving our seven ambitious national targets for waste by 2030.
“The export ban sends a strong message that it is time to take responsibility for our waste, to seize the economic opportunities of transforming our recycling industry and to stop sending problem waste overseas,” Ley said.
“By doing this we can play an important role in reducing the millions of tonnes of plastic that pollute the world’s oceans. The Morrison government is driving a billion-dollar transformation of our waste and recycling industry. This means new jobs for Australians, and a major boost to our economy at a time when we need it most.”
Assistant minister for waste reduction and environmental management Trevor Evans said the new laws shift the dial in Australia on product stewardship as we change our mindset to thinking about waste as a resource and move towards a more circular economy.
“We are turbo-charging product stewardship and making it easier for businesses and product experts to create or expand recycling schemes for the products and materials they make,” Evans said.
“The export ban coupled with our changes to product stewardship will create jobs, spark innovation and deliver strong environmental outcomes.”