Review of the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 (waste strategy)
A special meeting of the Waste Authority was held on 16 October 2023 to consider a revised waste strategy vision and framework and discuss outcomes from a waste strategy visioning workshop. During its December meeting, the Waste Authority considered an early draft of a revised waste strategy and provided feedback on core elements, including the vision, enablers, key initiatives, goals and targets and priorities over the next five years.
A special meeting will be held on 6 February 2024 to further consider the draft waste strategy as this important work is further progressed.
The release of the draft waste strategy is on track in accordance with agreed revised timelines, which will see public consultation phase 2 occurring in the first quarter 2024 for a 12-week period. The Department will also run stakeholder workshops with a range of sectors to provide input into developing actions for the roadmap (previously known as the action plan).
Draft Waste Data Strategy
An updated draft waste data strategy was considered by members. The Waste Data Strategy 2019 sets out the objectives, principles and actions related to waste data that are required to support delivery of the waste strategy.
The draft waste data strategy proposes four key priorities – to improve data integrity, data availability, efficiency in data reporting and engagement with stakeholders.
The collection, validation and auditing of data is now collected under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Regulations 2008 and reported annually to the Department through a waste data online portal. The portal also allows annual reporting on the implementation of local government waste plans.
The draft waste data strategy is being reviewed alongside the waste strategy and will be released for public consultation in the first quarter 2024.
Container Deposit Scheme – proposed expansion
The Waste Authority received an update on outcomes of the recent Container Deposit Scheme consultation to consider expanding the scope of eligible beverage containers under the scheme.
Members noted strong community support for the proposed expansion of eligible beverage products through the consultation process and noted benefits for the expansion included further creating resource recovery and circular economy initiatives, reducing consumer confusion about which containers can be returned under the scheme, and benefits for social enterprises and community groups.
The Waste Authority expressed its strong support for the proposed expansion and noted that Queensland’s scheme (from 1 November 2023) now includes expanded beverage containers under its scheme, including glass wine and spirit bottles.
E-waste to landfill ban by 2024
Members noted good progress being made by the state government towards delivering an e-waste to landfill ban in Western Australia by 2024. The ban will be underpinned by new regulations to give effect to the ban, supported by grants for e-waste management and recycling infrastructure, as well as a communications and community education campaign.
Following the close of the public consultation process on the draft regulations for the e-waste ban in November 2023, a report with a summary of submissions received (including key themes and issues) is anticipated to be released by the Department in early 2024. A second round of the Infrastructure Grants Program is expected to be open early in the New Year.
Plan for Plastics
The Waste Authority received an update from the Department on the implementation of Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics.
Regulations are currently being prepared to support the ban of single-use plastic promotional film in outdoor settings, announced by the Minister for Environment in August 2023. The ban will apply to material used for promotional purposes such as political elections and retail signage, making Western Australia the first State to ban such material. The ban is proposed to come into effect in March 2024.
Western Australian led national project on end-of-life tyre options
Members noted progress on the Western Australian led national project to assess policy options for end-of-life (EOL) tyres. This follows an agreement made at a meeting of Environment Ministers in June 2023, that Western Australia would lead collaboration on this work.
The project is being undertaken in two phases, with the first phase focussing on the development of an agreed approach, and the second phase involving an assessment of options for EOL tyres (informed by the agreed approach) and further research into off-the-road tyres used in industries such as mining and agriculture.
2022-23 Waste Authority Annual Report
The Waste Authority was pleased to note the public release of its 2022-23 Waste Authority Annual Report following its tabling in Parliament in November 2023. This is the first annual report of the current Waste Authority, with members proud to play a role in helping Western Australians minimise their impact by delivering on waste strategy objectives including waste avoidance, resource recovery, and the protection of health and the environment.
The next ordinary meeting of the Waste Authority will be held on 27 March 2024. A planning day will be held on 20 February 2024 to finalise priorities for the 2024-25 business plan.
Merry Christmas from the Waste Authority
The Waste Authority encourages you to sign up to receive its new monthly newsletter Trash Talk, providing the latest waste news and initiatives from the Waste Authority and the WA State Government. You can sign up by subscribing to Waste Authority News from our website.
The Waste Authority wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. The WasteSorted Christmas campaign includes resources available for local governments, regional councils and stakeholders to help spread the joy of sustainable practices this festive season to embrace low-waste traditions in our celebrations.