Australian Senate inquiry calls on government to ban single-use plastics by 2023

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CANBERRA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Senate has delivered a report recommending a ban on single use plastics by 2023, in response to the nation's imminent recycling crisis.

The wide-ranging report, published on Tuesday, follows the revelation that China would no longer buy the majority of Australia's recyclable material, starting from this year.

The report did not define what single-use plastics could be banned, but Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson, who chaired the inquiry, said it could include takeaway containers, chip packets, plastic bags and coffee cups with plastic linings.

Whish-Wilson took to his website on Tuesday to confirm there was "a rare display of political consensus" across Labor, Liberal and the Greens.

"Australia's complacency in relying on China to buy our recyclables has exposed the vulnerabilities in our current approach and the Senate has laid down a clear pathway for Australia to create a circular economy and stop piles of plastic, paper and glass being stockpiled or heading to landfill," the statement read.

Whish-Wilson described the establishment of a national container deposit scheme, also a key recommendation in the report, as "the most critical" step towards a more clean stream of waste.

"This brings all states into line and allows them to follow the success of South Australia in being able to better generate high-value markets from their waste streams," he said.

Gayle Sloan, the chief executive of the Waste Management Association of Australia, told the Senate committee that Australia was being "left behind the rest of the developed world" in failing to create a circular economy.

"For every one job involved in landfill and 10,000 tonnes of waste, over four are created by resource recovery," Sloan said. Enditem

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