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Good Heavens: China doesn’t want out garbage

Good Heavens: China doesn’t want our garbage

Now I know. That photo by Glyn Jones of a mountain of stuff to be recycled caught my eye. In the third row, fourth garment from the right, next to the green T-shirt, is my Fletcher Jones Plus Eights golf trousers. They disappeared about 30 years ago while I was showering a the Royal Golf Club, my fat wallet in the hip pocket. All that junk in the photo used to go to China for the poor. Now that the Chinese are far richer than most Australians they don’t want our hand-me-downs. Good! I shall be on the lookout at David Jones or maybe Big W for my strides to surface on the rack as the latest fashion. I wonder if my wallet will still be in the pocket? I wonder if we can still cash those old, One Pound and ten bob notes?

The waste industry has reached crisis point several months into the Chinese waste ban,and stakeholders want immediate action. The industry is calling for assistance to help it transition to a so-called ‘circular economy’ where waste would be collected, processed and then reused to make new products here in Australia.

Source: ABC

Australia needs to start recycling and reusing its own waste, says industry struggling under China’s ban

Recyclers say if we do not do it recycling rates will drop, causing serious environmental harm as more waste gets dumped in landfill.
Millions of tonnes of waste have been going offshore
The latest available data shows that Australia sent 1.2 million tonnes of waste to China in 2016-2017 — nearly double the previous estimate.
About 30 per cent of Australia’s recyclable waste is exported to China.
The story of your rubbish

From the kerbside yellow bins to the recycling plant, this is what happens to your household waste.

Tim Youe, the CEO of Southern Metropolitan Regional Council facility that processes waste in Perth, says it is a short-sighted approach.
“People have been looking for the highest dollar return for the raw commodity and haven’t invested in the infrastructure to [reprocess waste] within the confines of Australia,” he says.
Gayle Sloan, the CEO of the Waste Management Association of Australia, has been pushing for government support to help ramp up onshore waste processing.
She says it will create five times more waste-industry jobs, and benefit the environment.
“We can gear up, but we need to have certainty of market in order to invest because these aren’t small investments. These are millions of dollars of investment in factories and facilities.”
Turning old bottles into new bottles
Tim Youe’s facility in Perth exports everything it collects — paper, cardboard and plastic — to Asian markets including Indonesia and Malaysia.
In fact, most of Western Australia’s yellow bin recycling, except for glass, gets shipped overseas.
“We could be using that material here, reprocess it, value-add to it and use it in new products here,” Mr Youe says.
“For example, you could turn a plastic bottle, say like a Coke bottle, into a PET pellet and make a new Coke bottle out of it.”
PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, is the type of material commonly used to make plastic drink bottles and containers.
Not only is it possible, it is being done.
Australian recycling giant Visy has a local plant that makes plastic bottles from 100 per cent recycled plastic.
Supermarket giant Coles uses recycled plastic bottles for its home-brand bottled water.

They remain the only private label in the country to use 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles.
“Customers have responded really well,” Coles spokeswoman Martine Alpins says.
“We know right now that customers love any way that they can help the environment.”
Last year, Coles sold 233 million of these bottles, saving 3,000 tonnes of new plastic from being created and potentially sent to landfill.

Here are some tips to help you reduce the amount of plastic you use.

Beverages Council CEO Geoff Parker says his industry is keen to use as much recycled content as possible, but under the right market conditions.
“It’s about the price of that [recycled plastic or recycled PET]. It’s also about the price of virgin PET — that’s the original PET. And that has a number of different factors at play around world oil prices and electricity prices,” he says.
However Mr Parker acknowledges the industry could be doing more.
“I think it’s a case of we’re doing a little and we can certainly always use more,” he said.
More manufacturers need to use recycled material
Federal and state governments have made the use of recycled products voluntary, and Gayle Sloan says while manufacturers trumpet the production of recyclable packaging, the track record on the use of recycled material is less impressive.
“The challenge that we’re finding is that the manufacturers of that food-grade packaging, which is what ends up in the yellow bin, aren’t taking that product back as readily as we want or as much as we want,” she says.
Much of the recycled material used is imported from countries which receive Australian waste.
This table shows the average use of recycled material in Australia.
The same global manufacturer may be using more recycled material in Europe, where there are tougher regulations, than in Australia, where federal and state governments see the use of this material as voluntary.
Many governments do not even mandate the use of recycled materials for their own departments.
Label launched to guide consumers
The recycling industry says consumer awareness will help drive the transformation to the use of more recycled materials.
A clear labelling system is needed to help consumers identify what is recyclable and what is recycled, according to the industry.

“Just putting more product in the bin that is potentially recyclable without any market for it doesn’t help. We actually need a logo that says this is made from recycled content,” Ms Sloan says.
What can’t be put in recycling bins
• Paper and cardboard heavily contaminated with food or grease
• Bases and other takeaway packaging
• Tissues
• Wax coated cardboard, such as fruit boxes
• Plastic bags
• Nappies
• Ceramics, cookware and crockery
• Oven-proof glass, medical glass, light bulbs, broken drinking glass

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is reviewing its guidelines around the degree of recycled content in packaging. But for now, its labelling program has a different focus.
It has launched a national labelling scheme, the Australasian Recycling Label, aimed at helping consumers better understand which parts of the packaging they buy is recyclable.
APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly says it will also help guide business to make better choices.
“It’s a first in Australia, the ability to be able to evaluate a packaging format in the design phase and make a very conscious choice to create packaging formats that are designed for recycling or reuse,” she says.
Collection costs are rising as the China ban bites
The industry is hurting because prices have collapsed due to China’s decision to ban imports of mixed recycled material.
Those selling directly to China are in danger of going broke.
NSW and Victoria have provided rescue packages to prop up the industry in the short term.

But China’s move has also changed the cost equation.
Many councils which were paid by recyclers for household waste now have to pay to have it collected.
The government support may only last until the end of the financial year.
So some councils will be hit with much higher costs, which means renegotiating collection contracts and passing on those higher charges to ratepayers from July.
“It’s a dollar a week, and to keep recycling going is a great thing,” Ms Sloan says.
With commodity prices plunging by at least 30 per cent in the last 12 months, Mr Youe says the ban had hit his bottom line.
And his worry is that the crisis will damage the public’s confidence in the industry.
“Bad news about recycling tends to lead to people not putting the right thing in the right bin, and I think the encouragement of the householder to continue to recycle is a key message that we need to get out there,” he says.
Calls for a government mandate on recycling
Stakeholders claim the recycling industry’s future is threatened without government involvement.
“I think now is the opportune time for us collectively to pick up the ball and start to do what we probably should have done five to 10 years ago,” Mr Youe says.
He believes governments need to mandate the use of recycled product in their own contracts.
“I think sustainable procurement needs to be embedded in state and federal government policies, and that’s lacking in this space,” he says.
“We don’t have the Federal Government leadership in the same way that we have with the European Union, that set standards and said we are going circular, the same way that China said, we are going circular,” Ms Sloan adds.
“We actually need some regulatory support for it.”
State environment ministers will meet on April 27, and waste is on the agenda.

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • DT 16/04/2018, 6:05 am

    “South Australia’s sky-high electricity prices have forced an Adelaide plastics recycling business to shut its doors, costing 35 workers their jobs, its managing director says.

    Plastics Granulating Services (PGS), based in Kilburn in Adelaide’s inner-north, said it had seen its monthly power bills increase from $80,000 to $180,000 over the past 18 months.”

  • DT 16/04/2018, 6:11 am

    “The loss of the last aluminium recycling plant in NSW is a blow for sustainability as well as jobs, because the plant has the potential to save 95 per cent of the energy used to manufacture aluminium from scratch, according to environmental experts.
    Alcoa has announced it will close the plant in Yennora, leaving 180 workers out of jobs. It will also close its Point Henry aluminium smelter and rolling mill in Geelong, costing another 800 jobs.”

  • DT 16/04/2018, 6:14 am

    “Cement Australia has blamed government taxes and regulations for causing the closure of its Kandos, New South Wales, manufacturing facility, affecting the jobs of 98 employees.

    Sixty-four workers will lose their jobs as the plant closes over the coming months; 34 workers will be offered another role within the company’s other manufacturing facilities in Gladstone (Queensland), Railton (Tasmania) and Bulwer Island (Queensland).

    Cement Australia CEO and managing director, Chris Leon, told Manmonthly.com.au that government taxes are putting increasing pressure on manufacturing businesses. The carbon tax will aggravate this in the future.”

  • DT 16/04/2018, 6:26 am

    The three examples of business closures above highlights the damage governments have caused in manufacturing industry. Carbon tax, Emissions Trading Scheme, energy crisis, government regulations and compliance costs, red and green tape, high company tax and payroll tax that state governments agreed to abolish in return for shared GST revenue, stamp duty also agreed to be abolished now plus GST, and many more government based costs to businesses that have made Australia uncompetitive, even when compared to the US where employment of skilled labour is one-third lower than here.

    A few years ago a WA luxury motor yacht designer and builder, Secret Harbour, displayed a new vessel at the Sydney Boat Show. It went by sea under its own power from WA to highlight the potential range and capabilities. According to Club Marine Insurance magazine the retail price was A$1.5 million. Later arrangements were made to build these vessels in the US and after being imported into Australia the retail price was A$900 thousand.

    Both sides of Parliament are responsible for this economic vandalism which started after the Whitlam Labor Government signed the UN Lima Agreement around 1975 to allow the transfer of manufacturing industry to developing countries. Little did we suckers for punishment realise that the politicians were cooperating with the New World Order/One World Government agendas. Since November 2007 I believe that the speed of our losses has increased markedly.

    And to add insult to injury, politicians are cashing in on their insider knowledge.

  • luk1955 16/04/2018, 6:49 am

    You are right, DT. When the aluminium smelter shut, I know that problems would follow. Specifically an increase in the cost of aluminium products. Now with the government abolishing manufacturing in Australia by a variety of means, most notably by listening to “economists”, there is no market for recycled materials. Why, even little old me could see a problem from this, and now there is 1 big problem, notably that other countries are not going to take our shit. Of course the crats (craps), being obsessed with control and bankruptcy of the population, didn’t see these consequences. I maintain they did, and saw this as a way of further cementing their control of us, for their buddies Rockefeller and Rothschilds. The carbon tax did a lot of damage, which is why the pollies liked it so much, until Abbott came along but now it has been resurrected under a different name. To finish off what the first tax started. Of course, a thriving manufacturing sector relies on inexpensive, on demand electricity, which is no longer available here in Australia, courtesy of those greens.

    • DT 16/04/2018, 7:35 am

      PM Abbott also tried hard to have the Renewable Energy Target removed but was blocked by the Senate. Instead they reinforced Labor’s 23 per cent target.

      Beware of politician speak, e.g. when they talk target, 23 per cent RET and SA claims 40 per cent achieved, they are referring to the design maximum under perfect conditions capacity or “Nameplate”. Because wind conditions vary site to site and at times not enough or too strong the wind farms enter into a contractural arrangement with the governments to supply energy over time. Capacity Factor therefore averages 30-40 per cent of Nameplate and therefore 40 per cent Nameplate would be at best an average of 16 per cent. Interestingly, by 20-30 per cent energy input from intermittent sources such as wind and solar to an electricity grid destabilises the grid. And this is the main purpose of the big battery in SA, to provide several minutes of energy while the diesel and gas generators kick in. And noting that without the interconnector to Victoria coal fired power stations SA would be in even worse trouble right now.

      Australia now has world’s highest electricity pricing and increasing energy crisis developing. Until the hoax that is based on naturally occurring climate change that has been taking place forever and related carbon tax, RET, transitioning to renewable energy BS (read crony capitalists profiteering at consumer’s expense) we had a stable and reliable worlds largest interconnected electricity grid providing relatively low price energy.

      As you know, manufacturing industry must have reliable and lower cost energy supply, but so do most businesses.

  • Penguinite 16/04/2018, 7:01 am

    Funny thing is that a lot of the exterior packaging and crappy contents comes from China

  • TommyGun 16/04/2018, 7:31 am

    Blind Freddy could see this coming.
    I worked in a state EPA in the recycling division way back about 2000.
    The goal was to reduce waste going to landfill by getting it recycled.
    For every tiny success story we had, there were 10 examples of new packaging being imported into the country that was never going to be recycled.
    I always maintained that the only way around the problem is to put the compliance back on the manufacturer; not the end-user. In other words, if your company makes a product and it and its packaging are not recyclable, then you get hit with a tax to cover the cost of burying it or destroying it. If your product is recyclable; no tax.
    That could be applied at the border in the form of an import tax or levy in the case of all the stuff the chings make.

    • Joe Blogs 16/04/2018, 11:49 am

      Yes. In a past – and more altruistic – life (about 1991-2), Blogs led a team of “experts” assessing the economic viability all manner of recycling proposals for referral to a panel of even greater “experts” who could grant funding for worthy proposals.

      We had trouble finding anything of sound economic merit, but managed to form a short list of interesting ideas, none of which deserved the contrived fanfare they received.

      A good business opportunity would be to recycle PET bottles into plastic Karl Marx dashboard wobblers (Jesus isn’t selling very well anymore).

  • Lorraine 16/04/2018, 8:49 am

    In my district we are already charged heavily to pick up rubbish , the 2 bin system will break down even further if an extra charge is made to keep a system that is clearly going broke. The greenies out there must be so proud making power so expensive we can no longer manage our own waste .we really have true dopes in Government and not only the Greens. MSM are not finger pointing, but they should be

    • Penguinite 16/04/2018, 9:22 am

      Agree Lorraine! Look how the USMSM castigate Trump but here our Pollies can get away with murder, just about!

  • Biking Voter 16/04/2018, 9:29 am

    Pity we can’t recycle our government, what a load of rubbish. I guess not even the Chinese want them, but then again what could you make out of them?

    • Lorraine 16/04/2018, 9:57 am

      robots come to mind

    • Joe Blogs 16/04/2018, 11:24 am

      Unfortunately the Chows don’t use toilet seats. They’re squatters – over there and over here.

  • Joe Blogs 16/04/2018, 11:29 am

    That clobber in the pic: if they collect from Memphis TN, there’s a little Chink schlepping around somewhere in a pair of cut-down FJs with an iron-on tag “Admiral Benbow Inn Lost Property Dept”.

    • Don 16/04/2018, 9:38 pm

      Don’t know how Mr Ed accepts all your racial comments Bloggsie – seems if I do not make a contribution your hate text cannot be directed my way but is still there.

      • Neville 17/04/2018, 2:10 am

        Go away, Don, and while you’re there, learn the difference between “hate speech”, and Aussie humour.

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