In recent years there have major changes to international markets for recyclable materials. In addition, local communities are looking for greater self-sufficiency, reuse and recycling of available resources and less reliance on overseas supply chains. There is increasing interest in developing local capability for processing our recyclables. There has also been increasing concern about greenhouse gas emissions, particularly caused by landfilling organic material.
New strategies based on circular economy principles are being developed, which seek to reuse products and materials, and reduce the generation and landfilling of waste and to increase resource recovery. There is a stronger focus on keeping products and materials in the productive economy and trying to avoid waste altogether.
The initial focus of the Waste and Resource Recovery Board is to set a bold vision to guide waste management in Tasmania. This vision looks to the future and signals a new approach where materials and products are recognised with a value, rather than a 'waste material' to be sent to landfill.
The Waste and Resource Recovery Act is part of a suite of actions recently taken to establish a new framework for work across a range of waste initiatives. The Act establishes the Waste and Resource Recovery Board, and provides for the establishment of a long-term vision for Tasmania through a Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy and the implementation of a Tasmanian Landfill Levy.
This work builds on work driven by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas). This includes important work such as the draft Waste Action Plan, which was released in 2019 and provided a framework for the discussion with stakeholders and the community on the best way to address our waste and resource recovery challenges. It identified a number of key actions the Tasmanian Government would take, including the Government's commitment to establish the legislated statewide landfill levy, which will replace the current voluntary regional waste levies, and to introduce a Container Refund Scheme (CRS) in Tasmania. Other work to date includes moving forward with phasing out problematic single-use plastics, and industry development in plastics and organics and food waste.
Beyond Tasmania, the National Waste Policy Action Plan sets out targets and actions to implement the National Waste Policy 2018.
For further information on action on waste and resource recovery to date, please visit the NRE Tas Environmental Management webpage.