WMRR welcomes Environment Ministers focus on consistency and going circular

21 October 2022

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) welcomes today’s Meeting of Environment Ministers, and we are delighted that the role our essential industry plays in hitting net zero is firmly on the agenda.  

“The commitment to transition Australia to a circular economy by 2030 is well overdue, and with Environment Ministers from around Australia working together to achieve this with increased emphasis on consistency and producer responsibility policies, we really will move down the path to net zero a whole lot faster,’ said Gayle Sloan, CEO.  “It is really exciting that the Ministers have recognized that an essential part of achieving the 2030 targets is looking at what is designed and produced.” 

“Considering placing responsibility for end-of-life management on producers, for products such as tyres and solar panels is definitely one way of crystallising in producers’ minds, what material to use and how to design in order that we can repair and recover.  WMRR welcomes the possibility of strengthening product stewardship schemes, it really is time to consider some sticks and not just carrots.”

Our sector also has a significant role to play in achieving the biodiversity targets of conserving landmass.  Transitioning the current National Waste Action Plan towards a circular plan by 2030, will mean that Australia really can reduce reliance on virgin materials, shift to creating demand for secondary raw materials, establish systems for re-use and repair, creating Australian green jobs, building Australia’s resilience, as well as reducing energy demands and carbon emissions.  

The reality is that about 40% of Australia’s emissions actually come from material management.  In order to hit our stated 2030 carbon target, it will be vital to create a roadmap for circularity in Australia which requires a complete re-think of how we extract and manage materials.  WMRR calls on government to develop a strategy that focuses on addressing the five (5) priority materials that create the greatest emissions, these being extracted fossil fuels (plastics), organics, textiles, construction, and transportation.  

We look forward to working with all governments to achieve both a circular economy and net zero- it really is an exciting time for Australia and our essential industry.  We congratulate and thank all Ministers for playing such a constructive part in working with industry to achieve these goals.