NWRIC calls for new international trade agreements

The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) has called on the Federal Government to secure trade agreements with international recycling partners.

This follows the implementation of China’s National Sword Policy, which has placed heavy restrictions on the level contamination in recycling exports.

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In a statement, the NWRIC said recycling has become a globalised industry, with exporting nations such as China needing to play their part to address the reuse of valuable resources. It also noted it strongly supports the re-establishment of domestic remanufacture in Australia.

“Secure international trade agreements will be necessary for the long-term prosperity of Australian recycling,” said the NWRIC.

“The establishment of improved recycling infrastructure requires long term investment and the installation of new technology. This new infrastructure cannot be financed without secure long-term markets for both the input materials and the end products.

“As a result, the NWRIC calls on the Commonwealth though its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to facilitate new negotiations to establish long term and stable trade agreements for the Australian recycling industry,” the NWRIC said.

The NWRIC lists paper, all metals, plastics and manufactured fuels as materials these trade agreements should cover, and notes that an existing China-Australia Free Trade Agreement could possibly be extended to cover clean recycled materials.

NWRIC Chair Phil Richards said Australian industry has the capacity to build new and improved recycling infrastructure that can produce high quality material ready to feed local manufacturing and exports.

“Strengthening our international trade agreements to export recycled products will secure an early recovery of comprehensive recycling services across Australia,” Mr Richards said.