Labor’s recently announced waste minimisation policy is rocket fuel for Australia’s domestic recycling, its industry and millions of Australians who strongly support recycling, according to the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR).
Pete Shmigel, CEO of ACOR, the peak body for the $15 billion recycling and re-manufacturing sector, said this is a big and bold boost for recycling and re-manufacturing in Australia – and what’s needed when our system’s success is under threat from Asian changes.
“Independent modelling commissioned by ACOR shows that, done correctly, Labor’s policy will divert millions of tonnes from landfill to recycling, but also creates some 300 new jobs in regional areas and take the equivalent of 30,000 cars off the road in less greenhouse gases,” Shmigel said.
“Labor has recognised recycling is a national issue and a national opportunity, and that we need to secure our domestic recycling sovereignty and future resources.
“Like ACOR member companies already do, we need to make more things in Australia – not overseas – from what’s collected in Australia. This policy supports self-reliance through Aussie-made recycled content products and our own circular economy.
“As an industry leader, it’s about pulling new products not pushing old waste.
“Labor’s initiative is a whopping win for the environment and for the economy and will lift Australia from its 17th position in the world in terms of recycling rates and let us grow the sector from the current 50,000 jobs. It speaks to the 88 per cent of Australians who told a recent survey they want a more pro-active recycling policy.”
ACOR especially applauds the following positive parts of the policy:
- Direct investment in infrastructure and innovation to decontaminate recyclate and make more recycled content products in Australia;
- Use of government purchasing power to build homegrown markets for collected recyclables, such as ‘recycled roads’ of which India has 100,000kms;
- Expedition of product stewardship schemes, such as batteries and electronic items;
- Waste commissioner to provide national and Federal accountability and leadership; and
- National container deposit scheme approach, which can drive system efficiency, increase recovery of beverage containers, and reduce riverine and marine litter.
ACOR strongly acknowledges the wide and inclusive consultation undertaken by Labor to develop its policy and is now hopeful of Budget and election commitments from the Coalition on this issue and both community and national interest.