Comment on waste export ban timetable

Councils and local government associations are invited to comment before 3 December 2019 on the proposed timetable for the waste export ban that the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed earlier this year.

Australia’s Meeting of Environment Ministers on 8 November agreed to phase in the export ban from July 2020, starting with waste glass.

The Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy is seeking comments from local government and other interested parties on its discussion paper, or  responses to the department’s waste export ban survey.

Roundtables will be held in each state and territory and at the national level, where local government associations and industry representatives can discuss the ban timetable and its implications.

Meanwhile the National Waste Recycling Industry Council, which represents commercial waste and recycling operators, this week said the timetable was unrealistic without mandated recycling content in packaging.

“Our members are keen to work with all agencies and the packaging and manufacturing industry to make this happen,” Chief Executive Officer, Rose Read, said.

“However, we are very concerned that the regulatory focus is being crudely placed at the end-of-pipe and not at the source of the issue, that is brands and producers.

“It is unrealistic to have export bans enforced for plastics by July 2021 and paper by June 2022, when the packaging industry and manufacturers are only working to achieve 30 percent recycled content and 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.”