The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to invest in the nation’s waste market through incentivisation and increased capacity.

Speaking at today’s National Plastics Summit, Prime Minister Scott Morrison signalled a move towards government incentivisation and co-investment to support industry. He also announced the government would invest in new recycling infrastructure across Australia and work towards developing a strong national waste market.

The AFGC’s Acting CEO, Dr Geoffrey Annison, said the food, beverage and grocery sector was working hard to address issues of waste and recycling, investing heavily to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

“The food, beverage and grocery sector is taking an active role as part of the waste solution and companies – large and small – are working to improve the sustainability and recyclability of packaging,” Dr Annison said.

“However, making this transition is costly. Incentivisation and co-investment to improve recycling capacity and help businesses make the switch to more sustainable packaging is something the AFGC has been calling for and, on behalf of the sector, we look forward to working with government to address this key issue.

“Capacity-building is key and there needs to be a greater emphasis on improving recycling infrastructure in Australia to promote the circular economy. The Prime Minister’s announcement is a big step in the right direction.

“We look forward to seeing more detailed plans in this year’s Federal Budget and will continue to work with the government and other key stakeholders to improve recycling outcomes.”

Dr Annison reiterated the need for achievable timeframes to be established for industry to transition, with a whole-of-supply-chain approach needed.