2009 National Waste Policy Update
11 September 2018
- WMAA welcomes the update to the 2009 National Waste Policy
- Commonwealth is missing leadership opportunity
- Commonwealth should drive national dialogue
- Lessons to be learnt from the EU and UK
The Waste Management
Association of Australia (WMAA) congratulates the Federal Department of
Environment and Energy for developing the Updating the 2009 National
Waste Policy Discussion Paper within a short time-frame and acknowledges
the Department’s willingness to accept feedback and input from the
working group. However, the Discussion Paper unveils several untapped
opportunities, including the Commonwealth leading the national dialogue
and importantly, driving economic outcomes.
that the Discussion Paper goes some way in reflecting circular economy
principles and includes a range of targets. However, these targets
should be steered towards key national goals.
recognises that there is a lot of work to be done to carefully update
the National Waste Policy. However, the targets set out in the
Discussion Paper must focus on growing jobs and the economy, and ensure
that the industry can stand on its own two feet. Setting strong interim
targets and providing clarity around how these targets will be enforced
are a good start,” WMAA CEO, Gayle Sloan, said.
Commonwealth has a number of tools that it can but is not utliising,
including policy and legislative levers that can effectively drive
change,” Ms Sloan added.
instance, the Federal Government can exert its import powers to ensure
everything that comes to market adheres to extended producer
responsibility best practice. It can also grant tax incentives to
organisations that actively work towards the targets set in the Paper.”
is also urging the Federal Government to think outside of the
environment box, taking on a whole-of-government approach to drive the
circular economy and follow in the footsteps of our European
counterparts to develop a far more sophisticated system. The hurdle at
present is the lack of robust data across the entire supply chain.
therein lies the opportunity, given the Federal Government is in a
position to fill that gap by bringing all stakeholders to the table,
including national organisations such as national retailers, and
ensuring that both accurate data is received and compiled, and all
players, including manufacturers, distributors, and reprocessors remain
engaged every step of the way.
the Paper, the Department discusses opportunities to apply circular
economy principles to the whole management system, across each stage of
the cycle, which includes design, product remanufacturing, distribution,
consumption, use, reuse and repair, as well as collection and
recycling. However, there is a real knowledge gap, particularly in the
first four stages of this cycle and the Federal Government is in a
position to collate this data through the Policy and national
engagement,” Ms Sloan said.
is value in looking to the EU as they have shown how this can be done
by effectively producing 54 clearly defined measures, all with
responsibilities allocated. Further, the Commonwealth needs to set up a
third party organisation, similar to WRAP UK, which sits uniquely in the
space between government, business, and community to collate data and
aid in the forging of partnerships to drive a sustainable economy.”
WRAP UK CEO, Dr Marcus Gover, pointed to the success the organisation has had in the last decade.”
“We know that what gets measured, gets managed and this is as true for waste as it is for anything else,” said Dr Gover.
the past 10 years, WRAP has proven that measuring and reporting on
waste in whole supply chains helps us to identify the hotspots and take
action on them. It is only when you take this whole supply chain view
that you can address these systemic problems instead of simply pushing
the waste somewhere else.”
good example is WRAP UK’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign launched in
2007 and designed in response to WRAP’s research on the scale and types
of food waste by UK homes. Since it commenced, avoidable household food
waste in the UK has been cut by a 21%, in large part due to WRAP’s
ability to draw on its data and evidence base to design effective
initiatives and collaborate with the nation’s largest food retailers.
goes to show that it is all well and good to set targets and milestones
but if we do not have accurate data and the ability to track progress,
we cannot possibly succeed,” said Ms Sloan, concluding “For the update
to the 2009 National Waste Policy to truly matter, we need everyone to
adhere to the policy and move forward as one, that is why it is so
important that the Federal Government shows leadership in this regard.
will be publishing a paper this week drilling down on how the
Commonwealth can effectively support industry, boost jobs, and drive
economic growth through the National Waste Policy, and will reflect on learning's from the UK and EU.