Government seeking feedback on national framework for recycled content traceability

By Rachael Ridley  August 3rd, 2023

The federal government is proposing a national framework for the traceability of recycled content in products to improve transparency of information and support increased use of recycled materials.

Industry representatives and members of the public are invited to provide feedback on the discussion paper, which outlines a proposed voluntary framework for businesses in recycled content supply chains to collect and share data related to the acquisition, processing, and handling of recycled materials.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (the department) developed the paper in response to feedback from manufacturers that are reluctant to use recycled content in their products due to uncertainties about its origin, quality, and effects on production processes. The department has identified demand is being held back by a lack of information that would support the use of recycled content in manufacturing and help businesses and consumers verify claims about recycled content.

The national framework would assist in resolving these issues by providing the ability to trace recycled content as it moves through the supply chain, thereby boosting confidence in its authenticity and quality and increasing demand. It also aims to support national harmonisation and enable Australian governments to set expectations for traceability in a consistent way.

The framework would focus on providing guidance to industry on the type of information about recycled content that should be collected and shared along the supply chain. It would cover all recycled materials in all forms across the supply chain including:

  • all functions in Australian supply chains between the material recovery stage and the sale of goods or completion of construction projects incorporating recycled materials

  • recycled materials recovered from waste using mechanical and advanced recycling processes

  • pre-consumer and post-consumer materials consistent with ISO 14021:2016.

The government is seeking feedback on key considerations for the framework, which will be used to design a draft framework for Australia’s Environment Ministers to consider in their next meeting in late 2023.

Feedback must be submitted through the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water by 31 August 2023.

Rachael Ridley

Rachael manages the Business Recycling and Recycling Near You websites. Rachael joined Planet Ark in early 2019 after eight years working in media and publishing as a producer, editor and writer. Rachael loves using her skills in content creation and communication to instigate positive environmental behaviour change. Outside of work, Rachael enjoys spending time in nature, listening to music and patting dogs.

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