According to the Singapore-based publication The Straits Times, Australia signaled its intention to halt the export of recyclable waste amid retaliatory action from neighbors in the region, including Indonesia and Malaysia.
On Friday, August 9, the federal and state and territory governments agreed at a conference to set a schedule for the development of their own waste recycling facilities.
The leaders of the federation, states and territories also agreed to instruct their ministers of environmental protection to establish a schedule for ending the cross-border disposal of plastic, paper, glass and car tires at landfills.
Australian leaders agreed that the strategy should focus on reducing waste, especially plastic, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill, and maximizing the capacity of the waste management and recycling sector in Australia to collect, recycle and reuse waste.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that waste management is “a matter of great concern to the entire community” and “dear to the hearts” of his state colleagues.
He said that only 12% of the waste that Australians throw in trash cans is recycled. Scott Morrison noted that he wants the ban on the export of waste to be imposed as soon as possible. Australia spends $ 2.8 billion ($ 2.63 billion) a year on exporting 4.5 million metric tons of recyclable waste, 80% of which goes to Asian ports.
Waste management has become an increasingly urgent problem for the country since 2017, when China banned the import of almost all foreign plastic waste. This led to the fact that most of the waste was in countries in Southeast Asia.
China and the Philippines have recently taken measures to reduce waste imports from other countries, including Australia.
Indonesia said last month that it had discovered toxic or contaminated materials in waste containers coming from Australia, the United States, Germany, and Hong Kong, and announced its intention to increase the number of inspections. This led to the fact that containers with waste accumulate in ports, violating the passage of goods through customs due to the large influx of waste from around the world.