Cash for cans could expand
The Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) wants all parties to commit to a national recycling scheme.
New OECD stats show Australia is lagging in the recycling race, sitting at 13th place internationally.
“We are one of the richest countries in the world and we have one of the highest rates of waste generation in the world,” says ACOR spokesperson Grant Musgrove.
“The Federal Government's got a target of only half of all products such as televisions and computers to be recycled.
“That is internationally embarrassing.”
The Greens have a policy that would see the Federal Government help businesses take responsibility for recycling their own products.
“When you buy an item you pay a little bit extra and you get that money back when you take it in for recycling,” said Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson.
“So there's an incentive for you when the life of that product is over, be it a can of coke or a TV to take it into a depot and get your money back.”
Currently, the states and territories have a random patchwork of recycling rules and facilities, bans on single-use plastic bags, and some are even moving to introduce container deposit schemes.
Senator Whish-Wilson said there must be mandatory national laws to avoid duplication and reduce costs.
ACOR says recycling helps both the economy and the environment.
The industry says it already employs over 50,000 people, and generates nine times more jobs than landfill.
The Coalition says there have been better television and computer recycling rates under its watch, it set up voluntary schemes for tyres and waste paint, and it is also looking at banning micro-beads.
Labor claims it will look at a national container deposit scheme if elected, and may bring in a green procurement policy for Commonwealth government offices as well.