A smokescreen: Greens slam NSW Government’s waste announcement

The NSW Government’s $1.5 million to establish a Circular Economy Innovation Network is nothing more than a smokescreen for the government’s failure to take tough decisions to reduce waste including banning single use plastics and investing all of the waste levy into waste solutions, says Greens MP and Environment Spokesperson Cate Faehrmann. 

The NSW Government will only invest $337 million or 16 percent of the $2.1 billion raised by the waste levy over the next four years into reducing waste. The announcement comes after the Greens revealed that waste to landfill has risen by over 1 million tonnes in the past year and is predicted to rise by over 5 million tonnes over the next four years due to restrictions on China’s acceptance of recyclable material and the introduction of a waste levy in Queensland.

“This is not a genuine policy, it is a smokescreen for the NSW Government’s failure to take tough decisions to actually reduce waste,” Ms Faehrmann said.

“Without genuine action to ban single use plastics, reinvesting the full waste levy and ruling out burning garbage as part of the solution, this is a hollow announcement which ignores the scale of the waste crisis we face.

“It is scandalous that the government will invest only 16 percent of the $2.1 billion raised by the waste levy over the next four years into reducing waste despite the massive and unsustainable increases to landfill predicted.

“We need to urgently direct 100 percent of the waste levy towards fixing our growing waste crisis, ban all single use plastics and employ a Waste Commissioner who will coordinate waste reduction.”

“We need to ensure all packaging used in NSW is recyclable, compostable or reusable by the end of 2023 and that there is curbside organics collection and composting in all local government areas.”

“There is zero leadership in NSW when it comes to tackling our waste crisis. The Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton, is missing in action,” said Ms Faehrmann.

 

Contact: Jack Gough for Cate Faehrmann – 9230 3168 or 0427 713 101

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