The introduction of the China Sword policy has left local kerbside recyclers with recycled materials that no longer meet the quality specifications required by global processors. The heydays of exporting to China have ended – with no plan B. Simply put, Australia does not have sufficient recycling processing infrastructure in place to recycle packaging collected at the kerbside.This complex global problem cannot be solved by simple solutions that some may suggest.
All stakeholders along the supply chain – from packaging manufacturers, product manufacturers and retailers to the consumer, local councils, collectors, and recycling processors – have a role to play in finding environmentally and economically sustainable solutions.
Certainly, leadership and support from local, state and federal governments is essential. However, more importantly, industry must collaborate with all stakeholders and provide government with industry-led solutions if we are to gain their confidence and support in developing new local infrastructure that will meet the needs of both manufacturers and material processors. Put simply, all stakeholders must work together to safeguard the general public’s confidence in recycling.
This article infers China is the blame as it introduced the Chinese Sword that cut off what Australia was calling ‘recycling’. When in actuality is was more of a case of Australia not taking responsibility for its own rubbish when it should have been for many years. Now thanks to this no foresight and inaction by the governments, Australia has a waste crisis that is going to be around for many years now till new infrastructure and industry changes can be introduced. This is going to lead to massive landfill dumping, more pollution, more health problems for people near by, and a loss of a lot of potential resources, Very irresponsible of any government to not see this coming years ago. Seems like companies like BioGone in Australia who were thinking about this impending huge problem have one of the only viable options at the moment.