A new report highlights an important opportunity to harmonise waste and resource recovery in Australia and move quickly to a circular economy while reducing cost and complexity, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) says.

The AFGC, the peak industry body for Australia’s food and grocery manufacturers, has welcomed the release today of the report, From Rubbish to Resources: Building a Circular Economy, from the federal parliamentary committee inquiry into Australia’s Waste Management and Recycling Industries.

AFGC CEO Tanya Barden said food and grocery manufacturers were committed to the creation of a circular economy and welcomed the report’s recognition of the importance of a coordinated approach across all tiers of government.

“Industry recognises the importance of working with retailers, the waste sector and other key stakeholders to address issues of waste and resource recovery, and most importantly the government and consumers”, said Ms Barden.

Among the key report recommendations are that federal, state and territory governments work together to implement a pathway to a predominantly circular economy, and that there should be consultation with all stakeholders to better align existing waste management and recycling programs with industry needs.

Ms Barden said with different container deposit schemes and different policies for single use plastics in place in different states, the report highlights an opportunity to harmonise recycling efforts, reduce costs and increase the speed at which new, effective programs can become reality.

“This report highlights that there is not one single solution to addressing the volumes of different plastic in our recycling and waste systems,” Ms Barden said.

“Harmonisation of the recycling and waste management systems coupled with the new National Plastics Recycling Scheme the AFGC is now developing will be a big step in the right direction,” Ms Barden said.

“We commend the Australian Government’s leadership on waste reduction and recycling matters and congratulate the Committee on this report.”