New waste policy spruiks circular economy

Rebecca Gredley
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Australians need to change their attitude to waste and consider it a resource rather than a burden.

The National Waste Policy released on Tuesday urges Australians to avoid waste by repairing or reusing items rather than throwing them away and recycling as much as possible.

The updated policy builds on the first plan from 2009 and is underpinned by five principles.

They include better resource recovery, increasing supply and demand of recycled materials, and improved data reporting.

The framework urges businesses to take the lead in ensuring the design of their products either reduces waste or results in the reuse and repair of packaging.

Meanwhile, the government’s latest waste data shows Chinese restrictions on recycling imports have had little effect on Australian waste exports.

Paper and plastics were most affected by the restrictions but exports have since increased to Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Malaysia and Thailand.

Despite the restrictions, China received most of Australia’s exported waste materials for recycling in 2017/18.

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