The Federal Government has announced that it will be establishing new regulations and standards for packaging and package design, which are expected to help councils save money on waste and recycling. 

The new reforms, announced at the Environment Ministers Meeting in Adelaide, will also develop minimum recycled content requirements and prohibit harmful chemicals being used.

ALGA President, Linda Scott, said the reforms were important for local governments who have consistently advocated for these changes.

“Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek’s commitment to introduce federal packaging standards is a major win for local governments as part of our transition to a circular economy,” Cr Scott said. 

“Australia’s councils welcome these reforms, as they will allow us to recycle more effectively and save public money in the long term by ensuring businesses are more responsible for their products to their end-of-life.

“The changes will help create a stronger market for recycled goods by mandating that packaging contains recycled content, which is a critical reform.”

Collecting, treating, and disposing of Australian domestic waste costs Australia’s 537 local governments an estimated $3.5 billion annually. Local government also dedicates resources to administering community waste-education programs, collecting litter, addressing illegal rubbish dumping, and ensuring compliance with waste bylaws.

“The changes will help create a market for recycled products by mandating that packaging contains recycled content, which is a critical reform as there is no point in councils collecting materials for recycling if there is no end use available.”

Cr Scott also welcomed the Ministers’ agreement for a new framework to accelerate product stewardship by better coordinating work across all levels of government.

“Fundamental to improving kerbside recycling collection services is the redesign of packaging so there is less waste, and it contains less mixed material and is more easily recycled. 

“Councils are proud to do all we can to support reducing waste and boosting recycling.”


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