Boosting confidence in recycled materials
The Albanese Labor Government has launched a push to introduce a national framework for recycled content traceability in products, to boost demand and confidence in recycled materials.
Traceability allows businesses to track recycled content from its origin to its final destination, through the stages of material recovery, reprocessing, manufacturing, distribution and retail.
It will make clear key information including where recycled content has come from and how it has been processed and handled.
This is necessary to ensure recycled content is free of harmful chemicals and suitable for reuse, for example, as new food packaging.
It is also increasingly becoming a requirement for Australian businesses to access international markets.
At a meeting of Australia’s environment ministers last month, all ministers agreed to progress this important initiative. Today, the Government has released a discussion paper to seek feedback and inform the development of a framework to set the rules of the scheme.
The proposed framework would guide businesses on what recycled content data to collect and share, to ensure the right information is available to those who need it.
Public consultation is open until 31 August 2023: Consultation hub | Developing a national framework for recycled content traceability - Climate Change (dcceew.gov.au)
Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek:
“Unfortunately, only 12 per cent of plastics were recycled in Australia in 2020-21.
“We know Australians want to do their bit and recycle and many businesses are doing the right thing. This is about reducing waste, fighting greenwashing, and giving people confidence.
“Traceability allows us to track where a product was manufactured, where it was recycled or if it has gone to landfill.
“Australians want confidence in the use of recycled content and today Labor is taking the first step to deliver it.”