The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has published a new report exploring the challenges faced in managing packaging and plastic waste in remote and regional areas of Australia.
The report ‘Packaging waste collection and processing options in remote and regional areas’, examines the waste management facilities available in areas outside of Australia’s major cities, home to approximately 28.7 per cent of the population.
These regions comprise a diverse range of environments, ranging from very remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory to islands in Queensland.
Drawing on consultation with a wide range of people about their experiences, challenges, priorities and ideas, the paper lists for the first time the existing programs, technologies and pilot projects currently being implemented to collect, transport and process packaging and plastic waste in remote and regional areas. These include actions by all levels of government, product stewardship schemes, and community organisations.
The paper also explores some of the unique challenges that communities in these regions experience, and identifies 22 opportunities for improvement across capability development, waste collection, transportation, recycling and end markets.
Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans, said the report is the first step in understanding how to can build partnerships with multiple stakeholders to improve waste collection and recycling services in regional and remote areas.
“The report will be key to informing future solutions and investments”.
Brooke Donnelly, CEO, APCO said collaboration is critical to managing the waste stream in remote and regional communities.
“The aim of this report is to really kick-start that process, helping to bridge the knowledge and skill sharing between different communities so professionals across the country can learn from each other and help to bring equity in this space to all Australians”.
‘Packaging waste collection and processing options in remote and regional areas’ is part of the program of work APCO is delivering in partnership with government to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets and to deliver on the commitments outlined in the National Waste Policy Action Plan.
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