The Government's Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020 has today been passed un-amended by the Senate, despite staunch support for substantial amendments from the recycling industry, local governments and NGO's.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, "It beggars belief that we could have once-in-a-generation legislation before us that doesn't include any measures on reducing single-use plastics or meeting plastic packaging recycling targets.
“This legislation has been called the “recycling and waste reduction bill” but, ironically, it includes no direct measures to reduce plastic packaging waste or give the recycling industry the policy certainty it needs to upgrade and invest our way out of this waste crisis.
"Greens amendments would have done exactly this but they have been rejected by the Senate.
"This will come as a shock and surprise to so many Australians who have been following this debate, hoping for change, expecting that such simple measures would be a no-brainer for our Federal Parliament.
"The PM clearly hasn’t lived up to his promise to the UN last year that he would show global leadership on tackling marine plastic pollution and the waste crisis in Australia.
"The Greens will hold the PM and this government to account and will make this an election issue.
"The community and industry stakeholders want action, not spin.
"The recycling industry has made it clear they want federal laws to make the circular economy work, to create jobs and boost investment - but they didn’t get this from today’s legislation.
"The Greens have the support of Labor who voted for mandatory packaging targets and backed in the recycling industry.
"The plastics crisis can be found in the ice cores of Antarctica, in deep sea trenches and mountain peaks, right through our food chain and in our atmosphere.”