Australia Waste Export Ban

On 9 August 2019, the Council of Australian Governments agreed Australia should establish a timetable to ban the export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres, while building Australia’s capacity to generate high value recycled commodities and associated demand.

Leaders also tasked Environment Ministers to advise on a proposed timetable and response strategy following consultation with industry and other stakeholders.

At the Meeting of Environment Ministers on 8 November 2019, Ministers agreed that waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres that have not been processed into value-added material should be subject to the export ban.

They determined that the ban should commence on 1 July 2020 with a phased approach:

  • All waste glass by July 2020
  • Mixed waste plastics by July 2021
  • All whole tyres including baled tyres by December 2021
  • Remaining waste products, including mixed paper and cardboard, by no later than 30 June 2022.

This timetable reflects the unique challenges of individual states and territories, and the preparedness of some jurisdictions to complete the phase out ahead of schedule.

All jurisdictions acknowledged resourcing, from Commonwealth, states and territories, and industry will be required to effectively implement the ban.

Ministers will further test the timetable with industry and local government, while also developing response strategies and undertaking independent market analysis.

In early 2020 Ministers are expected to advise on final timetables, definitions and response strategies to First Ministers for their confirmation.