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Environment

Australia Commits to 100% Sustainable Packaging by 2025

By Joanna Prisco, for Global Citizen

Following a Chinese ban on imported plastic waste, Australia has committed to creating 100% reusable, compostable or recyclable packaging by 2025.

“This is an important step forward and will have a real positive impact on our environment,” the country’s environment minister Josh Frydenberg said, according to The Guardian.

Frydenberg said “recycling and waste were urgent issues” and that the group had a comprehensive plan to cut the amount of food and packaging that ended up as waste. 

Take action: Call on Governments and Business Leaders to Say No to Single-Use Plastics

But the deadline announced by environment ministers in a meeting this week has already faced criticism for not being proactive enough.

The Australian Council of Recycling and the Australian Local Government Association were less enthusiastic.

“Just because something is recyclable doesn’t mean it will be recycled. It needs to be profitable,” said David O’Loughlin, president of the Australian Local Government Association, in the Guardian’s report.

Read More: Over 40 UK Countries Just Signed a Pact To Cut Plastic Pollution

The issue has been a point of contention in Australia since January, when China tightened restrictions on the amount of contamination allowed in shipments of recyclable plastics. As a result, stockpiles of recyclable waste have accrued around the Commonwealth.

In the past, 35% of Australia’s recyclable plastics and 30% of paper and cardboard had been sent to China, according to the Guardian.

Read More: 18 Times Countries and Cities Said No to Single-Use Plastics

To stem the stream of waste sent abroad for processing, Frydenburg stated in the article that the Commonwealth would continue to invest in alternative “waste-to-energy” projects, such as burning rubbish for electricity, paving roads in recycled waste, and others. 

Global Citizen campaigns to achieve the UN’s Global Goals, which include action on improving life on land, life below water, and creating sustainable cities and communities. You can join us by taking action by telling governments and business leaders to say no to single-use plastics here