Plastic is wasted in landfill

Eligibility - Queensland residents
Principal Petitioner:
Elizabeth Watson
Mungalli Creek Dairy
254 Brooks Road
Total Signatures - 1,477
Sponsoring Member: The Clerk of the Parliament
Posting Date: 16/4/2021
Closing Date: 13/6/2021
Tabled Date: 15/6/2021
Responded By: Hon Meaghan Scanlon MP on 15/7/2021
TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland residents draw to the attention of the House that 84% of plastic is buried in landfill in Australia, 12% is recycled and that in Queensland we have no incentives to encourage the use of recycled plastic over virgin materials.

Plastic is versatile and can be recycled back to its previous form (bottles, containers) or used to produce products such as furniture, building materials and roads.

In 2018 Australia exported 4.4 million tonnes of waste which cost us $3 billion. Since then, waste export bans have come into place. In the wake of this, we need to increase our plastic reprocessing by 400 per cent to meet the 2025 national recycling targets agreed to by state and federal governments. However, is investing in new reprocessing infrastructure pointless if there’s no demand for recycled plastic?

Developing the resource recovery sector is beneficial in reducing carbon emissions and it creates jobs for our communities. For every 10,000 tonnes of waste that goes to landfill, it’s estimated that fewer than three jobs are supported. However, if we recycle the same amount then it’s estimated that more than nine jobs are created.

Waste management and reducing our carbon footprint is not only in the interest of citizens, it will impact how this government is remembered in history. 

Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to incentivise a circular economy by offering rebates on recycled plastic to businesses who choose recycled plastic that has been reprocessed in Australia from more than 50% locally sourced recycled materials.