The Federal Government has announced the introduction of a ban on the export of mixed plastic waste exports.
The ban will end the export of 75,000 tonnes of mixed plastic waste annually. The ban aims to further support Australia’s domestic waste industry, as well as create more jobs throughout the sector.
The demand for domestic process is set to increase, with the Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley saying that the nations capabilities to process waste materials is only set to grow.
“Recent surveys identify that there is already annual spare capacity of just over 160,000 tonnes at 52 of Australia’s operational plastics processing facilities to meet this demand and that capacity is growing,” Ley said.
“While there may be a few others who are slow to adjust, the broader industry is firmly behind where we are going.”
Plastic projects are already being co-funded by the Federal Government’s $600 million Recycling Modernisation Fund, increasing the domestic processing capacity to 163,721 tonnes a year.
Investments will also be made in new technologies, product stewardship schemes and sustainable procurement strategies.
Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans, said the ban will be a boost for domestic industries.
“Increasingly, major infrastructure and building projects will offer more and more opportunities to consume plastics and other recycled products in roads, highway sound barriers, railway sleepers, bollards, boardwalks and outdoor furniture,” he said.
“This export ban is about a complete change of mindset when it comes to what we used to call waste and our attitudes to buying something that has been recycled.”