Coag Waste Agreement

“While governments` ongoing efforts to develop the appropriate policy and financial framework for CoAG`s upcoming waste export bans are anything to guide, there are many things Australia can look forward to in its goal of building domestic recycling capabilities and securing the future of our important waste and resource recovery sector,” indicates a statement from the CSF. On 9 August 2019, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that Australia should set a timetable to ban the export of plastic waste, paper, glass and tyres, while strengthening Australia`s capacity to produce high-quality recycled raw materials and the demand associated with it. The Western Australian government is calling for expressions of interest in subsidies to increase the processing capacity of the state`s 80,000 tonnes of mixed paper and cardboard waste. On 8 November 2019, Commonwealth, state and territorial environment ministers agreed that waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres not converted into raw materials should be subject to the export ban. By early 2020, Ministers will provide Premiers with additional guidance on final timelines, definitions and response strategies. COAG agreed to establish in August 2019 a timetable for banning exports of plastic waste, paper, glass and tyres. A phased approach to the implementation of the ban should ensure the safety of industry and help further reduce shocks in the waste and recycling sector. After all these demands, meetings and recommendations for action from the different levels of government, where do we stand? Valuable materials are still being landfilled, many in the community are still confused about how to properly sort waste and valuable materials, and the problem of contamination has not been solved. This draft report covered the many areas that could be improved, such as the processing sector, the use of recycled materials, waste energy production, organic materials management, etc.

The only proposal that attracted media attention was to propose that households have six containers for sorting waste and valuable materials. COAG`s strategy is an important step on Australia`s path to a “circular economy”. The waste export ban and strategy indicate a one-time generation shift in the recycling industry, which is expected to generate $1.5 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years. The ban on waste exports will start on 1 July 2020 with a phased approach over a four-year schedule. The federal government estimates that FMR will generate $600 million in private investment in recycling by 2030, create more than 10,000 jobs and divert more than 10 million tonnes of waste from landfills. They pledged to work on a timetable to ban the export of plastic waste and other recyclable waste such as paper, glass and old tyres. COAG has agreed that Australia will ban the export of plastic waste, paper, glass and tyres, while strengthening Australia`s capacity to produce high-quality recyclable raw materials and meet the associated demand. On 8 November, Australian environment ministers agreed that the ban would apply to plastic waste, paper, glass and tyres not converted into valuable materials and would start with a phased approach on 1 July 2020: the following sections describe the materials affected by the ban and the system-level opportunities for government and industry, to further encourage household waste and recycling capacity. The Commonwealth`s commitments to support the provision of the waste export ban are expected in the first half of 2020. These commitments should include investments in sectoral innovation and improved collection and monitoring of waste data. The COAG agreement reflects growing concerns in Australia and around the world about plastic pollution of our oceans and the need to ensure that waste exports do not harm human health and the environment.

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