Friday, 14 February 2020
A report created by the federal government of Australia showed that, in 2017-2018, only 9.4% of plastic was recycled...
A report created by the federal government of Australia showed that, in 2017-2018, only 9.4% of plastic was recycled, the recycling sector being now smaller than back in 2005. In the wake of these findings, Australia needs to dramatically increase its plastic recycling sector by up to 400%, to meet the national target of 70% recycled and composted plastic by 2025.
The target was agreed to by both the federal and state governments in 2018.
In 2019, Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister announced an export ban not only on waste plastic, but paper, glass, and tyres as well, in an attempt to reduce the amount of waste that reaches the oceans. The ban is supposed to take effects starting July this year, and many believe it may be a big mistake because it could make it that much difficult for the country to find suitable markets for recyclables, as Peter Allan, the author of the federal report, explains.
Morrison’s announcement spurred tensions in the region, especially with Indonesia, who announced they will be sending contaminated plastic waste back to Australia. Contaminated waste can mean anything, from recyclable material being dirty to the bales containing other materials than just plastic.
The current level of plastic packaging recycling is at 27.6%, meaning it would take tremendous efforts to reach the desired target in just 4 years. Direct incentives for the purchase of products made out of recycled materials could be a solution, but a collective effort from the government, together with consumers and producers, is needed in order to achieve this goal.
Australia gets a warning: expand plastic recycling by up to 400%