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 a ban to begin in 2021 on the export of unprocessed glass, plastic, tyres and paper/cardboard, targets to reduce waste per capita, and increase resource recovery, a phase-out of unnecessary plastics by 2025 and a halving of 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
The 2020-21 Tasmanian Budget provides some $20 million for a range of waste and resource recovery initiatives. Along with support from the Australian Government and investment from industry, it is expected that well over $30 million will be invested in the sector and in putting in place key policies and related legislation.
The Tasmanian Government is already well-advanced in putting in place the key policy and legislative actions to tackle the priority waste and resource recovery issues for Tasmania. This includes investment in the resource recovery sector, introducing a legislated waste levy, establishing a statutory Waste and Resource Recovery Board and introducing a Container Refund Scheme. Information on the status of all of these initiatives can be found at
Environmental Management on the DPIPWE website.
Work has also occurred in the relation to the following:
- The development of teaching resources on waste, aligned with the Australian Curriculum. Primary school teaching resources have been developed on general waste issues for early childhood (Kinder - Grade 1), and on plastic waste, paper waste, food waste and litter for older grade levels.
- 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 resources for managing waste in Tasmania, such as