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National Plastics Plan welcomed by industry, calls to harmonise bans

Waste and recycling industry associations have welcomed the announcement of National Plastics Plan by the Commonwealth Government, but urging the state governments to harmonise single use plastics ban.

National Plastics Plan by the Commonwealth Government sets ambitious recycling and resource recovery goals and has been welcomed by the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR), the national peak body for the $1.5 billion industry which employs 50,000 Australians.

Last year, ACOR convened a Plastics Recycling Roundtable with industry and a goal to produce a practical and achievable Plastics Recycling Roadmap to represent the recycling supply chain and identify recycling priorities to the Commonwealth Government.

“We commend the Morrison Government on its commitment to plastics recycling. This National Plastics Plan is a welcome outcome from last year’s National Plastics Summit, and will directly contribute to achieving some of the plastics targets of the National Waste Policy Action Plan, while also creating new job opportunities,” Cameron O’Reilly, ACOR CEO, said.

“Minister Sussan Ley and Assistant Minister Trevor Evans must be particularly commended for their exemplary work pulling this plan together and their ongoing consultation with the plastics recycling industry,” he said.

O’Reilly said that Commonwealth Government can show its commitment to supporting resilient end markets with ‘Lighthouse projects’ – major, publicly-procured infrastructure projects built using Australian recycled plastic content.

The plan, released by Ley and Evans states that “regulatory action should industry phase-outs not be achieved.”

Industry is calling for a nationally consistent detailed approach.

“Commonwealth and state governments’ procurement policies continue to hold back end market development. Safe and reliable products already exist using recycled plastic that could be used across a range of major building and infrastructure projects, yet procurement specifications remain in place that do not allow for their use,” O’Reilly said.

“Many governments have shown tremendous initiative in supporting recycling innovations, and now we need them to lead by example and use these cutting edge recycled plastic products in major infrastructure projects,

“Lighthouse projects allow the community to see the positive results of their on-going participation in recycling, allow corporations and agencies to gain the confidence to use more recycled products, and gives our industry the confidence to explore new innovations knowing there is a resilient recycled plastics end market,” he said.

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