Queensland’s pro-recycling response to China ban
A new law by the Queensland Government to put a levy on waste disposed to landfill while giving discounts or exemptions on residuals from recycling processes significantly helps the Queensland recycling industry compete against Chinese export restrictions, according to the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR).
“The Queensland Government and Minister Leanne Enoch get the big thumbs up from the recycling industry today because they’ve given us a leg up as our industry changes as a result of Chinese policy and other factors,” Pete Shmigel, ACOR CEO, says.
“While ACOR supports waste disposal levies because they incentivise landfill diversion, we believe that applying them to material that industry has invested a lot of effort and money to recycle or remanufacture just doesn’t make sense.
“It is great that the Queensland Government has recognised and accepted this while also putting in place ‘efficiency’ safeguards to ensure legitimate recycling. Queensland becomes the nation’s leader in providing this additional incentive and quality control to domestic recycling and domestic remanufacturing of recovered materials like paper, plastics, metals and glass.
“ACOR strongly thanks and acknowledges the Government, Minister Enoch and her team for listening, innovating and leading. That investment will be returned in the form of recycling jobs in Queensland and environmental results, and it would be great for levy arrangements to be bi-partisan to further bolster industry confidence.
“As the National Waste Policy now comes together and amid calls for standardisation and consistency in policy, it’s time for other jurisdictions to also adopt discounts or exemptions – with safeguards – for residuals from recycling where levies apply,” Shmigel says.
Shmigel adds that ACOR hoped that the efficiency safeguards in Queensland would form the basis for broader industry accreditation in future.