toggle menu
Plastic Free July 2020 © Shutterstock / Mohammed Abdulraheew / WWF

Plastic Free July 2020 © Shutterstock / Mohammed Abdulraheew / WWF

Split Senate vote places pressure on Government to address plastic packaging

08 Dec 2020

  • plastic

WWF-Australia is heartened to see the strong support in the Senate for Australia’s National Packaging Targets to be mandated within the Government’s Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020 last night.


“With just 16% of plastic packaging recycled in Australia, it’s clear that voluntary measures are insufficient,” said Katinka Day, WWF-Australia’s No Plastic in Nature Policy Manager.

“Mandating packaging targets would have been a huge win for the treatment of plastic packaging. It would have dramatically increased our ability to recover plastics in Australia and reduce the amount of plastic waste entering our oceans and waterways.”

WWF-Australia has previously welcomed the Federal Government’s planned waste export ban, but repeatedly called for further action on plastic packaging and pollution.

Labor and a number of crossbench Senators heeded these calls last night and voted in support of a Greens amendment to mandate the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s (APCO) 2025 National Packaging Targets. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party voted with the Government, resulting in a tie and ultimately a defeat of the amendment.

“It is really disappointing that an amendment that would require all plastic packaging placed on the market to be recyclable was not successful,” said Ms Day.

“We applaud the Senators who supported mandatory packaging targets. This highlights that the Government must do more to address packaging waste, which is a devastating and persistent litter problem in Australia.

“The government’s waste export ban is a welcome move, but if we’re to process all our waste here in Australia we need the right systems in place to ensure that all packaging placed on the market can actually be recycled.”

WWF-Australia continues to call on the Government to mandate the 2025 National Packaging Targets.

Recommended reading

Plastics packaging survey, some of the difficult to recycle items © WWF-Australia

Food | Sustainability

How recyclable are your favourite food products?

WWF investigates the recyclability of plastic packaging in 82 popular food products. From plastic tubs to shiny wrappers and plastic sachets within pl ...

Read more

New years resolutions that help save the planet by Brooke Lark / Unsplash


Easy eco-friendly New Year's resolutions

Make an easy eco-friendly New Year's resolution this year. You can make a difference!

Read more

{{thankYouPopup.firstname}} {{thankYouPopup.lastname}}

Thank you for your {{thankYouPopup.isMonthly ? 'monthtly' : ''}} donation of ${{ thankYouPopup.amount }}

Please check your email for confirmation


If you have any questions about your donation, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly Supporter Services team either by email: or call 1800 032 551

Share this page with your friends and family to help endangered animals even more.