Plastics recycling roundtable to deliver roadmap

An initial Plastics Recycling Roundtable meeting took place last month, co-hosted by and the Australia Council of Recycling’s CEO Pete Schmigel.

Twenty-seven representatives from nineteen different organisations involved in the plastic supply chain and lifecycle and Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction Trevor Evans recently convened a Plastics Recycling Roundtable.

The Australia Council of Recycling (ACOR) and Evans co-hosted the event which set out its considering the future community and policy challenges and opportunities in plastics recycling. Evans discussed what the Morrison Government saw as the opportunities of the COAG ban, the Recycling Modernisation Fund, product stewardship, procurement and plastics-related packaging targets.

According to ACOR CEO Pete Schmigel, “a vibrant discussion followed about the fragmented nature of the plastics recycling, current conditions and realities of plastics recycling, and the APCO plastics recycling targets. It moved to preliminarily identify additional measures – both operational and policy-based – that could have merit in meeting recovery and recycling targets.”

Agreement was reached to produce a Plastics Recycling Results Roadmap. Some of the identified key outcomes of this roadmap include:

  • Identify as a group the key practical and policy requirements for meeting the 70% plastics recycling target;
  • Explore market demand and policy options for creating it through the Commonwealth’s upcoming national plastics plan including tax incentives, public procurement requirements, minimum recycled content quotas, infrastructure requirements, improved APCO monitoring, product specifications, and definitions/implementation of COAG ban;
  • Provide an industry plan for consumer and corporate engagement and education on plastics recycling and recovery.

Participants committed to continue to interact as a Plastics Recycling Roundtable under ACOR’s auspices for the next six months and convene regularly with the Minister.

ACOR has invited the non-ACOR members of the Plastics Recycling Roundtable to be part of the process on a no-fee basis for six months.

This will give them access to ACOR specialised knowledge and discussion papers, as well as a seat at the roundtable. In developing the Roadmap, ACOR will also undertake consultation with other stakeholder organisations, such as APCO and its mooted Plastics Pact, to ensure alignment, including with the provisions of the National Waste Policy Action Plan. ACOR looks forward to continuing this important work with our esteemed colleagues and Assistant Minister Trevor Evans.