The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) has today welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to invest more in recycling infrastructure, following the Prime Minister’s $60 million announcement for advanced technology through the Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF).

The new funding stream is designed to tackle problematic plastics which are hard to recycle, like bread bags and chip packets.

NWRIC CEO Rose Read said NWRIC welcomed the announcement, however a more holistic approach is needed from government and the plastics industry.

“Investment in recycling infrastructure is broadly welcomed and quick implementation will be needed ahead of the second phase of the waste plastic export ban coming into place from 1 July 2022. NWRIC has long been advocating to ensure there is sufficient processing capacity for the expected 50,000 tonnes of baled plastics ahead of Phase 2,” Ms Read said.

“Commitments like today’s $60 million boost to the RMF from the Commonwealth along with matching state and industry funding will be critical to industry upgrading its technologies, recycling infrastructure and the capabilities of facilities so we can better progress to a domestic circular economy.

“But, more urgently, we need a whole-of-lifecycle approach, especially off the back of Australia signing the United Nations Environment Assembly’s (UNEA) End Plastic Waste resolution to forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024 that addresses the full lifecycle of plastic including its production, design and disposal.

“More action needs to be taken upstream, such as increased government regulation of recycled plastic in packaging, including taxing the use of virgin plastics, incentivising the use of recycled oil, phasing out composite packaging, and removing PVC and PS plastics from the yellow recycling bin.

“This isn’t just a job for government. It requires plastic refiners and manufacturers to also step up their investment in using recovered plastics and our sector will be working closely with them to help achieve this.

“We need a whole-of-lifecycle commitment, not just funding one leg of the supply chain if we’re serious about meeting our legally binding UNEA commitments and moving to a circular economy. We need smart regulation and positive government procurement to drive this change and, to use the Commonwealth’s own words, the time to act is now.”

NWRIC’s priorities for 2022 – including increased action in recovering plastics from cars and white goods by banning the export of unprocessed scrap steel – can be found on <a href=”http://www.nwric.com.au/media-release-priorities-2022-plastics-paper-metals/”>the Council’s website</a>.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Rose Read
NWRIC CEO
0418 216 364
ceo@nwric.com.au

ABOUT THE NWRIC

The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) is funded by major national waste and recycling businesses operating Australia wide. Its core purpose is to represent its members and affiliates priorities to the government to advance waste and recycling in Australia.