Due to our western lifestyle and consumption patterns, Australians produce some of the highest amounts of waste per capita. As a community we need to get better at reducing and re-using materials, recovering resources and managing waste. The decision by China in early 2018 to restrict the importation of 24 categories of solid waste has intensified the need in Australia and Tasmania to better manage waste and recyclables. It is also vitally important that we work to reduce litter, and in particular the threat to marine life posed by plastic in the ocean.
The State Government is working collaboratively with local government, industry and organisations involved with waste management to improve the management of waste in Tasmania.
Action on Waste
The National Waste Policy was released in 2018, followed by the National Waste Policy Action Plan 2019. This plan included targets to reduce per capita waste, ban the export of waste by mid 2020, increase resource recovery, phase out unnecessary plastics and halve organic waste going to landfill by 2030.
The Tasmanian Government is also taking action on waste. In June 2019, the State Government released the Draft Waste Action Plan. Submissions in response to the draft Plan have been compiled and published. It is expected that the Waste Action Plan will be finalised in line with the State Budget later in 2020. Following earlier State Government announcements, work has commenced on two key government initiatives contained in the Waste Action Plan. This includes the following:
- A container refund scheme which will be established in Tasmania to reduce litter, and help recover the resources that beverage containers are made from. Work is underway. More information is available on the
DPIPWE Website - Container Refund Scheme.
- A statewide waste levy will also be established in Tasmania to fund waste management and resource recovery activities and increase the diversion of waste from landfill. Work is underway on establishing a waste levy in Tasmania, and consultants have been engaged to analyse the impacts of different levy rates and the most appropriate regime for Tasmania. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
In addition to these announcements, work has occurred in the relation to the following:
- The development of teaching resources on waste, aligned with the Australian Curriculum. To date, teaching resources have been developed on
plastic waste, paper waste and
litter. Teaching resources on food waste are expected to be released later in the year.
- The delivery of Report Rubbish, an online web portal at the end of 2019. Report Rubbish gives the community a simple way of reporting littering and dumping via their smartphone or other electronic device.
See also other important areas for managing waste in Tasmania, such as