Friday 10 November 2023

WMRR Welcomes Ministers’ Stronger Action on Packaging but Timeframes for Implementation are Urgently Needed

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) welcomes the announcement the Federal Government will finally regulate packaging to make it safe, and require businesses to be responsible for it, but what is missing are real and enforceable timeframes on its implementation.

“WMRR welcomes the increased emphasis on product stewardship by Ministers’ and their acknowledgement of the problem incorrect battery disposal is causing for our industry. We look forward to working with the lead jurisdiction, the Queensland Government, on future regulatory action on this,” WMRR Chief Executive Officer Gayle Sloan said following the second meeting this year of national Environment Ministers in Adelaide today.

“However, more broadly Australia is well off track to meeting its national targets for resource recovery. Every day, we are seeing evidence of the damage our current, linear economic system causes - including pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss, which means the lack of ambition and timed action contained in today’s communique to address these challenges is disappointing,” she said.

“The resources dedicated to creating a voluntary traceability framework for those businesses that want to buy local and overseas recycled material, as opposed to all government's actively preferencing and purchasing recycled material and products made from Australian recyclate, means yet again we are kicking the recycled can down the road!  

“Australia needs urgent leadership to create markets for Australian recycled products and to remove the barriers and perception that they are inferior to virgin. 

“The waste and resource recovery industry wants to invest in Australia, create Australian jobs, mitigate carbon and eliminate methane. We have just over six (6) years to go until 2030 to hit our National Waste Policy targets and we are greatly off track. There is no concrete action out of today’s meeting which advances this. 

“With the Australian waste and resource recovery industry is still crying out for sustainable markets for the products we make, today’s meeting and the lack of urgency is disappointing,” Ms Sloan said.