Australians waste less, recycle more

23 December 2020

The release of the leading report on waste management and recycling data in Australia, the National Waste Report 2020, shows that Australians are reducing their waste and increasing their recycling.
 
Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans, said the report showed that our recycling rate has risen to 60 per cent, up two per cent, in the past two years.
 
“This is a great outcome. We can all be proud that our efforts are paying off, to take care of our own waste and to do the right thing by sorting our recycling and diverting more waste away from landfill.
 
“We are all creating 3.3% less waste in 2018-19 compared to 2006-07 when the first National Waste Report was released. In effect, we each produced waste that weighed the same as 40 full kegs of beer and we each sent the equivalent weight of 24 full kegs to be recycled,” Assistant Minister Evans said.
 
“However, our growing population means that the overall amount of waste Australia is generating continues to increase, up five million tonnes since 2016-17. So we need to continue to work hard to reduce the amount of waste we create, and to recycle more of it, if we are to achieve Australia’s ambitious national target of recovering 80% of our waste by 2030,” Assistant Minister Evans said.
 
“This is why we have taken unprecedented action to turbocharge our waste and recycling industries so that we treat our waste as a valuable resource which can be recycled and remanufactured into valuable new products. This protects the environment, creates jobs and keeps waste out of landfill.
 
“Our billion dollar investment in new recycling infrastructure is changing the face of the waste and recycling industries in Australia. We are also the first country in the world to ban the export of its unprocessed waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres overseas thanks to our new national recycling legislation.
 
Australia’s National Waste Report 2020 summarises Australia’s waste and recycling data for 2018-19 and measures trends since 2006.
 
While the data precedes the significant new investments in recycling and resource recovery the Government has made since the 2019 election, it will be used as baseline data to measure Australia’s progress against our ambitious 2030 targets in our National Waste Policy Action Plan.
 
For more information see: www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste/national-waste-reports/2020.