The 2018 National Waste Policy provides a framework for collective action by businesses, governments, communities and individuals until 2030. The policy was agreed by all jurisdictions at the Eighth Meeting of Environment Ministers on 7 December 2018.
The policy identifies five overarching principles underpinning waste management in a circular economy. These include:
- Avoid waste
- Improve resource recovery
- Increase use of recycled material and build demand and markets for recycled products
- Better manage material flows to benefit human health, the environment and the economy
- Improve information to support innovation, guide investment and enable informed consumer decisions.
Ministers agreed, by their next meeting, to the urgent development of a strong, national action plan that includes appropriate funding, robust targets, and milestones to implement the 2018 National Waste Policy.
Ministers also agreed to strengthen the national action plan to address Environment Ministers’ waste priorities. These include reducing plastic pollution, supporting industry development, increasing demand for recycled materials through procurement, and a national approach to waste policy and regulation, for example in regard to cross-border transportation of waste, consideration of proximity principles, and a coordinated approach to waste levies on the mainland.