Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill debated
This week the Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill was debated in the Federal House of Representatives.
Feedback from industry (including NWRIC) and opposition parties has delivered a number of sensible and practical amendments to the Bill.
The amendments focused on the development of a circular economy as opposed to its promotion and revising the definition of those who need to take responsibility for products. The term remanufacture has been added as there is also increased transparency on granting of export exemptions, requiring the Minister to publish all exemptions granted and to report quarterly on all export licences and exemptions granted.
Shadow Assistant Minister for the Environment Josh Wilson MP spoke in the House in support of the Bill and acknowledged the work of NWRIC as well as the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association and ACOR in providing feedback to present more workable legislation.
He also acknowledged these organisations’ ‘leadership more generally in the cause of achieving a paradigm shift in Australia’s waste and resource management industry’.
The Bill will continue to be debated next week and the link to Hansard for debate on the Bill this week (22 Oct) can be found here.
New Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence established
The Federal Government will invest $1 million in the establishment of a new Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence that will ‘play a key role in driving Australia’s circular economy towards an eighty per cent recovery rate across all waste streams by 2030’.
The grant is provided under the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund as seed funding, bringing together the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, the Australian Industry Group and Cox Inall Communications.
NWRIC CEO Rose Read welcomed the establishment of the Centre of Excellence, saying the Centre would help accelerate the development of effective product stewardship schemes.
“From industry’s perspective, regulated product stewardship schemes are proven to be far more effective than voluntary as they ensure all businesses participate and are accountable for the environmental impacts of their products throughout their complete lifecycle.
“The Centre will work closely with businesses to fast-track the development of more schemes and that will have the effect of driving greater re-circulation of resources in the economy and less materials going to waste and harming the environment.”
For the Ministers’ media statement announcing the centre click here. For further information on product stewardship visit https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste-resource-recovery/product-stewardship
Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE) – National State of Waste online in 2020
NWRIC is pleased to be a supporting partner as AWRE goes online on 25-26 November, delivering four sessions over the two-day program.
The second of our interactive online sessions will focus on the ‘National State of Waste’ with representatives from Federal and State agencies, industry, manufacturers and producers invited to join NWRIC CEO Rose Read for an interactive discussion.
At the 2019 Federal Election waste and recycling made the national agenda due to declining overseas markets and a faltering domestic industry with growing stockpiles. Both parties proactively advocated for reforms in waste and recycling including the creation of an Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Restoration.
Eighteen months on, how is Australia faring? Is the National Waste Policy Action Plan delivering? What impact will the waste export ban due to start 1 January 2021 have on the sector? Is the new Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill a step in the right direction? Does the Recycling Modernisation Fund hit the spot in developing the recycling sector locally? What does it mean for recycling being one of the six national manufacturing priorities under the Federal Government’s new Modern Manufacturing Strategy?
Don’t miss this important topic at this year’s AWRE conference! Click here for more information and to register.