On March 4, 2021, the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment announced the release of the country’s National Plastic Plan that outlines its approach to increasing plastic recycling, finding alternatives to unnecessary plastics, and reducing the impact of plastic on the environment.

Like multiple other national governments, Australia has introduced new laws to address plastic waste reduction and has now released its own plastic plan. The document proposes addressing the plastic problem through investments in prevention, recycling, consumer education, and research and development. It highlights specific actions such as supporting plastic-free beaches, new labeling guidelines to help consumers, phasing in microplastic filters in washing machines, and ensuring that all packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable. A number of specific regulatory targets related to plastics are outlined in a timeline in the document between 2021 and 2030.

In August 2019, Australia previously introduced a ban on exporting recyclable waste (FPF reported) following the adoption of an amendment to the Basel Convention in May 2019, which placed stricter controls on transporting plastic waste across international borders (FPF reported).

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Sussan Ley and Trevor Evans (March 4, 2021). “Joint media release: National plan to tackle plastic waste.” Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (March 2021). “National Plastics Plan 2021.” (pdf)

Calla Wahlquist (April 15, 2021). “‘Single-use plastics’ to be phased out in Australia from 2025 include plastic utensils and straws.” The Guardian