Recycling goals to deal with China’s ban

Rebecca Gredley
(Australian Associated Press)


Business leaders will stand with the environment minister to pledge their support for Australia’s ambitious 2025 recycling targets, prompted after China’s refusal to take on 1.3 million tonnes of Australian waste.

Environment Minister Melissa Price on Wednesday will outline the recycling targets at a packaging industry event in Melbourne.

China’s decision earlier this year to ban imported waste put pressure on former environment minister Josh Frydenberg, who announced in April that all Australian packaging would be recyclable or reusable by 2025 or earlier.

Australia produces 64 million tonnes of waste a year and recycles 35 million tonnes, with four million tonnes exported overseas, 1.3 million tonnes of which went to China.

Ms Price is set to explain that the national recycling targets also include 70 per cent of plastic packaging to be recycled or composted, and 30 per cent of packaging to be made of recyclables by 2025.

Single-use plastic packaging will be phased out through design, innovation or introduction of alternatives.

Representatives from businesses and environment groups including Aldi, Coca-Cola Amatil, Unilever, and the major supermarkets will attend the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation event.

The environment minister will also champion the Australasian Recycling Label, which tells consumers how to correctly recycle individual items.

Ms Price says it removes confusion in the “few seconds” when people are deciding which bin to put items in.

More than 50 Australian businesses use the label on their products.


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