Waste on the national agenda at Meeting of Environment Ministers

Published Friday, 08 November, 2019 at 03:32 PM

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

The Palaszczuk Government is calling on the Morrison Government to increase their investment in the recycling and resource recovery industry, in order to capitalise on job opportunities.

In Adelaide for today’s Meeting of Environment Ministers, Queensland Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the Australian resource recovery industry needs Federal Government investment to be able to expand, while implementing a ban on recycled materials.

“Queensland is fighting the war on waste and we fully support a ban on recyclable materials, including glass, tyres, mixed paper and mixed plastics.

Ms Enoch said that during the meeting states and territories called on the Federal Government to support significant job creating infrastructure and investment in end markets.

“Waste, and particularly plastic waste, is a serious problem, and under the Palaszczuk Government, Queensland is a leader when it comes to waste management.

“We are investing $100 million in Queensland to grow our state’s resource recovery sector and create jobs. Our container refund scheme has seen 1 billion containers returned in the past year and supported 700 jobs.

“We need the Federal Government to increase their investment as well. The targets agreed to today will only succeed if they do.

“Yesterday, I announced the Palaszczuk Government’s next step to tackle plastic pollution through the new Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan which includes a proposal to ban single-use items like straws and cutlery, subject to consultation.

“Here in Queensland, we’ve also set targets including a 25% reduction of household waste, ensuring 90% of waste is recovered, and 75% recycling across all waste types, by 2050.”

Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government’s vision is for Queensland to become a zero-waste society, where waste is avoided, reused and recycled to the greatest possible extent.

Climate change was discussed, including the risks of coastal erosion and inundation, and states and territories secured a commitment from the Federal Government to provide a presentation at the next MEM about how it plans to meet Australia’s emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement.

“The time for noting climate change reports is passed, we need leadership from the Federal Government on climate action,” Ms Enoch said.

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