Key initiatives and regulations to be aware of this year
In Australia, waste has increased by 20% over the last 15 years, yet recycling rates have improved by 57%. This rise in waste alongside better recycling puts individuals and businesses in the spotlight to comply with evolving environmental regulations and adopt greener practices. Let’s delve into Australia’s key recycling plans and initiatives going into 2024 to keep you in the loop sustainably and learn what you can do.
Reforming Packaging Regulation
In 2024, Australia’s recycling nears toward some big steps in sustainability with the reform of packaging regulations. Aimed at ensuring all packaging is recoverable, reusable, or recyclable by 2025, this initiative is set to drastically reduce the environmental impact of packaging waste. For businesses, this means adapting to new standards in packaging design, being influenced by international best practices, and contributing to a cleaner Australia.
Learn more about the packaging reform and updates here.
National Waste Policy Action Plan
The National Waste Policy Action Plan is crucial for businesses, serving as a framework for Australia’s recycling progress and sustainable waste management in 2024. It encourages companies to align with the 80% recovery target by 2030, driving innovation in recycling practices and reducing landfill dependency. This plan not only supports environmental sustainability but also offers businesses the opportunity to lead in the transition towards a circular economy.
Find the plan and updates since its establishment here.
The Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF)
With an investment of $250 million, the RMF has significantly contributed to Australia’s recycling capabilities and finishes in 2024. This fund supports over 100 innovative projects focused on modernizing recycling processes and infrastructure. For businesses in the recycling sector, the RMF has presented opportunities for beneficial growth and technological advancement, showing promise for future funding and support.
Find out about RMF, where the funding has gone and contacts in your state for grants and funding here.
Ending Recyclable Exports
Ending the export of recyclable waste is key to the National Waste Action Plan, aimed at enhancing local recycling efforts by redirecting the flow of recyclables and addressing the gap between recycling rates and waste production. This strategy is crucial for boosting Australia’s recycling capabilities and ensuring a sustainable approach to waste management. For businesses, this means adapting to new waste management frameworks and contributing to the domestic recycling industry’s growth. Mid-2024 will see the enactment of regulations on waste paper and cardboard exports.
Dive deeper into export updates and information here.
The “ReMade in Australia” campaign is another key aspect of the nation’s recycling reforms, promoting the use of locally recycled materials. This initiative aims to bolster consumer confidence in recycled products and foster a sustainable production and consumption cycle. Businesses can explore partnerships and learn more about the campaign to play their part in this national movement.
Discover how to get involved with the ReMade in Australia campaign and learn more here.
Textiles, organics, and plastics in Australia are emerging in the recycling industry and offer significant investment opportunities due to their lower recycling rates, setting these areas up for growth and innovation. Strategic investments in these sectors are crucial for achieving the ambitious 2030 recycling targets and the broader sustainability objectives, including the target to recycle or reuse 100% of plastic waste by 2040.
Find out more about the circular economy and what these types of investments contribute towards here.
As Australia shifts towards a circular economy in 2024, businesses are encouraged to align their practices with new sustainability regulations and initiatives. This transition underscores the importance of reevaluating business operations to meet evolving sustainability standards. The SDG Align free sustainability self-assessment and curated action plan, offers valuable resources to stay informed and aligned with these transformative initiatives, paving the way for a more sustainable future. Take it for yourself and see where your business or workplace ranks here!