Plastics just the tip of the iceberg – Australia

Plastics just the tip of the iceberg – Australia

Posted on May 21, 2024 by DrRossH in Plastic Recycling

A worthy topic given the damage that both fossil fuels and the lifecycle of plastics are doing to the planet

Source: Plastics just the tip of the iceberg – Inside Waste

What this discussion has highlighted is just how difficult it is to recover and recycle in the absence of design requirements (from polymer standards to chemical inclusions), extended producer responsibility obligations (to fund and manage its lifecycle) and only limited to no market demand for this recovered material.  

And no matter how hard we hope that all these elements will one day magically fall into place, they simply will not – the packaging system proved that.   

Regrettably with all the effort of respective governments over recent years to address plastics (single-use plastic bans implemented, container deposit schemes introduced, export restrictions, Recycling Modernisation Funding) we have barely moved the dial. The Australian Plastics Flows and Fates report states the national plastic recovery rate was just 14 per cent for 2020/21 – up from 11.8 per cent in 2016/17 – a growth rate of less than one per cent a year. The tap needs to be turned off at the source, and the producer made to sit at the table.