Indonesian environmentalists are calling on Australia to tighten its regulation and enforcement of waste exports to foreign countries, claiming it is effectively “smuggling”huge amounts of plastic and waste paper supposedly sent for recycling.
According to an ABC news report, activists are accusing Australian companies of slipping tons of plastic waste into paper bales.
A waste import ban imposed by China in July 2017 has seen Australia instead export waste materials to nearer neighbours, including Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Millions of kilograms of Australia’s waste has ended up in Indonesia’s East Java province. During 2018, imports of waste materials to East Java from Australia reached 52,000 tonnes, a 250 per cent increase from 2014.
Local environmental activist group Ecoton claims that plastic among the waste paper bales imported from Australia is routinely burned or dumped into the Brantas River, where fish ingest it.
Australia is among five countries that export used paper to factories in East Java, alongside the United States, Italy, England and South Korea.
Recycling is at the core of Wanless operations as it operates its own Resource Recovery Alliance in Kemps Creek, NSW. With set goals to ensure, as a business, it improves its environmental performance and resource recovery. This includes recovering paper and cardboard from wastes disposed in recycling parks and collections businesses nationally, where Wanless customers and its own materials are recycled into new boxes locally in Australia.