One of the desired outcomes as a result of the National Plastics Plan was the need for consistency in wheelie-bin waste collection in Australia, according to the federal Environment Minister, Sussan Ley. At the policy launch, Ley said that it was important that all councils and the government work together to make the collection systems standardised.
“They have all signed on to these national packaging targets, under the National Waste Action Plan, so they all agree we have to get there and clearly one of the best ways to get there is to have the same collection methods in each council,” Ley said.
The report itself stated that there was a lot of confusion with consumers about the roles of the various bins that are being used at the various councils around the country.
The report stated that: Inconsistency in kerbside recycling, including the colour of bin lids and what is accepted for recycling can cause consumer confusion. The Australian government and industry will work with state and territory governments to harmonise kerbside recycling.
A spokesperson from the Environment Ministry said the Australian Government is working closely with state and territory governments and with industry on a consistent nationwide kerbside recycling collection system.
“Australia needs a consistent nationwide kerbside recycling collection system,” the spokesperson said. “If you drive from Western Sydney to the coast, you pass through five different kerbside recycling bin-systems. Inconsistency in kerbside recycling makes it difficult for households to know which items can go in which kerbside bin. This leads to contaminated recycling streams which in turn leads to lower recycling rates.
They also stated that Lifting the country’s kerbside recycling rates will help Australia achieve its National Waste Targets, including 80 per cent average resource recovery by 2030.
At the last meeting of Environment Ministers, all Ministers agreed to consider national standards for kerbside recycling collection and materials recovery facilities to improve consistency and performance.