The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of 2024 as the implementation date for its policy of stopping the export of contaminated loads of paper and cardboard, which will mean systems can be put in place to ensure more products can be recycled locally, enhancing the circular economy.

AFPA CEO Ross Hampton said, “All of us want to see an end to contaminated waste leaving Australia and Australians have shown they are prepared to embrace recycling. The key to driving up the ability of industry to reuse and recycle is to drive down the intermingling of waste streams. Our industries are striving towards the circular economy and will be working hard, in the time remaining before the ban, to put in place more systems to help make this happen.  Consumers and businesses can assist too by ensuring they are tightly following the recycling guidelines, which are printed on packaging, and assiduously avoiding mixing up their recycling.”

“Australian’s have shown they are great recyclers. The recovery and recycling of paper and paperboard has increased dramatically over the last fifteen years. This has been made possible because of increased recovery rates from both kerbside collections and from commercial and industrial sources, and because of significant investments in paper recycling capacity by our companies.”

“Further steps forward can now be taken and we will be discussing with Government support for investment in new recyclables sorting technology, waste to energy projects for those materials which can’t be easily reused and emission avoidance credits under any carbon schemes. The coming ban provides a big chance to transform Australia’s recycling landscape but it will need to be a partnership between Government, industry and all Australians,” Mr Hampton concluded.