Sussan Ley warns against ‘greenwashing’ recycling

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley says a meeting with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (CGIQ) QLD branch has highlighted the importance of practical recycling initiatives, and the risks of ‘greenwashing’ recycling.

Greenwashing refers to a form of marketing that deceptively persuades the public that an organisation’s products and practices are environmentally friendly.

According to Ms Ley, greenwashing gives Australian consumers a false sense of assurance around recycling.

“Today I was joined by Assistant Minister Trevor Evans and a number of small to medium-sized businesses at the CGIQ headquarters in Brisbane, to identify the issues particular to their sector and the ways we can work together to build a circular economy that is less wasteful and more resourceful,” Ms Ley said.

Ms Ley said business participants said it was important to identify and develop recycling streams that people could see were delivering real outcomes

“Everyone accepts achieving these deadlines (export ban) is going to be a journey rather than an overnight outcome, and the commitment to work together is gathering momentum,” Ms Ley said.

“An example today was retailers seeking a common national standard to ensure that a reusable plastic bag is genuinely reusable, and that consumers are not buying products thinking they can be recycled when they can’t.”

Ms Ley said the Australasian Recycling Label is a step in the right direction, and would soon be carried by more and more products.

“A discussion paper on the waste ban timetable and growth opportunities to remanufacture our waste into recycled product has been circulated to industry, and consultation will continue in the lead up to COAG confirming the export phase out,” Ms Ley said.

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