Waste export ban on mixed plastics now in force

As of Thursday 1 July, waste mixed plastics can no longer be exported from Australia. All future waste plastic exports must be licenced and as a minimum be sorted into either a single polymer bale or processed pellet/flake to a recognised industry specification.

The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) supports the COAG export ban on unprocessed waste materials, and its members are working hard in collaboration with state and federal governments to upgrade existing sorting capacity and build new processing facilities across the country. Many of these we expect will come online over the next 12 to 18 months.

Building Australia’s resource recovery sector is NWRIC’s number one priority, and its members are committed to helping grow recovery rates from 60% to 80% by 2030.

However, to achieve this we not only have to modernise and grow our sorting and processing capacity. We need:

  • packaging manufacturers and brands to be required to use recycled plastics in their packaging
  • the rapid phasing out of PVC and PS in packaging
  • single polymer packaging, not composites and limited to either PET, HDPE, LDPE or PP
  • acceleration of the Plastics Product Stewardship Scheme being developed by the Australian Food and Grocery Council to deal with soft plastics, and
  • Government insisting their agencies use recycled plastics in public infrastructure projects – like road, rail, and buildings, and purchase products made with recycled plastics

If we don’t have these shifts in the types of plastic packaging being put onto the market and growth in local demand for recycled plastics for manufacturing, the industry will not be able to deliver the resource recovery outcomes that the federal and state governments want and what the community expects.

It is unfair to just regulate the resource recovery sector and not the companies who are manufacturing and putting these plastics onto the market in the first place.

Listen to Rose Read talk on ABC’s AM program about the export ban and the waste and resource recovery industry’s progress in managing capacity here.


“Getting to 80%” – New Resource Recovery Summit to be held at AWRE

Day one of the Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE) will include the Resource Recovery Summit “Getting to 80%” hosted by the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC), Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association of NSW (WCRA) with major partner NSW EPA.

NWRIC CEO Rose Read said the Summit was new to the AWRE program this year and would examine the opportunities and challenges of getting to 80% resource recovery by 2030.

“We have a great lineup of speakers from business, government and local councils including Councillor Linda Scott, President ALGA; Richard Kirkman, CEO Veolia; Damien Vella, CEO Breen Resources: Ros Dent, Environment Manager, Bingo; Susie McBurney, GM NSW Remondis; Adrian Dwyer CEO Infrastructure Partnerships Australia; Kate Lynch First Assistant Secretary, Environment Protection Division, Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment; Tracy Mackey, CEO NSW EPA; and Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction, The Hon. Trevor Evans.

“The speakers will debate the unique opportunities and challenges to increasing resource recovery in each of the three waste collection channels – Municipal Solid Waste, Commercial & Industrial and Construction and Demolition.” Ms Read said.

The AWRE is a COVIDSafe Event and is being held in Sydney at the ICC from 25-26 August. Visit the Expo website for more information and to register.


Levies on the move and under review

National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) CEO Rose Read looks at the progress of levy harmonisation in the latest edition of Inside Waste. Read about it here


NWRIC in the News

This week National Waste and Recycling Industry Council CEO Rose Read participated in several interviews on the export ban on waste mixed plastics.

Listen and watch:

ABC AM program


The Wire


Win News