Joint effort needed to improve remote-area waste streams: APCO

Greater collaboration will be necessary to ensure packaging and plastic waste in remote and regional areas are properly managed in future, a new report says.

To that end, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) paper identifies 22 opportunities for improvement across capability development, waste collection, transportation, recycling, and end markets.

These include actions by all levels of government, product stewardship schemes, and community organisations.

The Packaging waste collection and processing options in remote and regional areas report also lists, for the first time, the existing programs, technologies and pilot projects currently being implemented to collect, transport and process packaging and plastic waste in remote and regional areas.

In a foreword to the report, Federal Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans says that providing better access to waste collection and recycling services for the almost 2.5 million people who live in the outer regional, remote and very remote areas is a Federal Government priority.

“This report … is the first step in understanding how we can build partnerships with multiple stakeholders to improve waste collection and recycling services.”

Brooke Donnelly, APCO’s chief executive said: “Collaboration is critical to managing the waste stream in remote and regional communities.

“The aim of this report is to really kick-start that process, helping to bridge the knowledge and skill-sharing between different communities so professionals across the country can learn from each other and help to bring equity in this space to all Australians”.

The report is part of APCO’s work with all governments to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets and to deliver on the commitments outlined in the National Waste Policy Action Plan.