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.
Similarly, 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 now been compiled and published. A finalised plan is due for release later in 2020. A collaborative approach is being sought which allows state and local government, industry, waste management authorities and the community to work together to produce the best outcome. So far, the following actions have been undertaken:
- A container refund scheme is to be established in Tasmania to assist with reducing litter, and to help recover the resources that beverage containers are made from. The scheme was announced in June 2019 and is intended to be operational by 2022. More information is available on the
DPIPWE Website - Container Refund Scheme.
Report Rubbish, an online web portal has been developed, with the intention to reduce litter in Tasmania. EPA Tasmania is working with Department of Justice and other organisations to encourage the use of offenders on Community Service Orders to pick up litter on public land.
- 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
- See information on
litter statistics in Tasmania.
See also other important areas for managing waste in Tasmania, such as