Australian Government introduces legislation to ban export of recycled paper, plastic and glass

Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley
Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley

The Australian Government has introduced The Recycling and Waste Bill 2020 into its Parliament that will ban exports of unprocessed paper, plastic, glass and tyres for recycling.

Companies will also be encouraged to take greater environmental responsibility for the products they manufacture and what happens to those products at the end of their life.


Australia currently exports 645,000 tonnes of unprocessed plastic, paper, glass and tyres, primarily to markets in Asia.

The proposed legislation has already been approved by Australian commonwealth, state and territory governments in March this year, and now needs to be ratified by its Parliament.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said: “This is about tackling a national environmental issue that has been buried in landfill or shipped offshore for too long.

“That is why the Morrison Government is the first federal government to place waste firmly on the agenda. This is a once in a generation opportunity to remodel waste management, reduce pressure on our environment and create economic opportunity as we move to a circular economy with a strong market for recycled materials.

“Our $190 million (£104 million) Recycling Modernisation Fund and our actions under the National Waste Policy Action Plan will create 10,000 new jobs over the next 10 years – that is a 32% increase in jobs in the Australian waste and recycling sector.

“We are introducing legislation; we are delivering a billion-dollar transformation of Australia’s waste and recycling capacity and we are investing in new technologies and new ideas to transform recycling and reprocessing.”

The Australian Government will continue to consult with the recycling industry as it develops rules for each material under the waste export ban.

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