8 Dec 2020


WWF-Australia is heartened to see the strong support in the Senate for Australia’s National Packaging Targets to be mandated within the Government’s Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020 last night.

“With just 16% of plastic packaging recycled in Australia, it’s clear that voluntary measures are insufficient,” said Katinka Day, WWF-Australia’s No Plastic in Nature Policy Manager.

“Mandating packaging targets would have been a huge win for the treatment of plastic packaging. It would have dramatically increased our ability to recover plastics in Australia and reduce the amount of plastic waste entering our oceans and waterways.”

WWF-Australia has previously welcomed the Federal Government’s planned waste export ban, but repeatedly called for further action on plastic packaging and pollution.

Labor and a number of crossbench Senators heeded these calls last night and voted in support of a Greens amendment to mandate the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s (APCO) 2025 National Packaging Targets. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party voted with the Government, resulting in a tie and ultimately a defeat of the amendment.

“It is really disappointing that an amendment that would require all plastic packaging placed on the market to be recyclable was not successful,” said Ms Day.

“We applaud the Senators who supported mandatory packaging targets. This highlights that the Government must do more to address packaging waste, which is a devastating and persistent litter problem in Australia.

“The government’s waste export ban is a welcome move, but if we’re to process all our waste here in Australia we need the right systems in place to ensure that all packaging placed on the market can actually be recycled.”

WWF-Australia continues to call on the Government to mandate the 2025 National Packaging Targets.