The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) has released a five-point election plan, ahead of the federal election on 18 May.
WMRR CEO Gayle Sloan said China’s National Sword policy brought to the fore the need for Australia to focus on domestic processing and remanufacturing.
“While industry is willing and ready to up recovery and remanufacture materials, and community has expressed a hunger for resource recovery, we need support and collaboration from all stakeholders, we especially need leadership from the Federal Government,”
“The reality is, we needed 1.2 million tonnes of remanufacturing capacity in February last year. Today, we still need that capacity, if not more, as other countries such as India and Indonesia begin enforcing their own contamination levels of imported commodities. And imagine how many jobs will be created if we build that capacity! After all, we know that 9.2 jobs can be created for every 10,000 tonnes of materials recycled.
WMRR said Labor’s waste and recycling policy released this month offers “a ray of hope”, with commitments to mandate recycled content targets for all government departments, stimulate demand for recycled material, direct its $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Future Fund to work directly with manufacturers looking to develop solutions to single-use packaging, and develop a $60 million National Recycling and Circular Economy Fund.
“We need all government departments to mandate sustainable procurement of goods that include Australia recycled content and to be held accountable for their procurement decisions. This is what government leadership looks like and with a top down approach, manufacturers will follow suit. Further, we need support for domestic remanufacturing not later, but now.”
The industry body, formerly known as the Waste Management Association of Australia, is also calling on everyone – from industry to the community – to call for an “Australian Recycled Content” label to highlight and support the use and purchase of Australian recycled material.
WMRR’s five-point election plan:
- Leadership in sustainable procurement and market development, creating a strong remanufacturing sector and supporting Australian job creation.
- Strengthening product stewardship and extended producer responsibility schemes, including APCO implementing the “Australian Recycled Material” label for all packaging.
- A national proximity principle, to enable certainty, market development and investment in local jobs and infrastructure.
- A common approach to levies and industry development (with a minimum 50 per cent reinvestment).
- A whole-of-government approach to circular economy, including considering tax reform and import restrictions to support the sector.
Full details of WMRR’s five-point action plan can be found here.
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