Tasmania will introduce a statewide levy on rubbish dumped in landfill as part of a broader Draft Waste Action Plan developed over two years and released for public consultation on Saturday.
The money raised by the levy, previously opposed by the government and proposed to replace the mix of those already in existence under local governments by 2021, would then be directed toward future waste and recycling infrastructure and programs.
A container refund scheme announced earlier this month forms the second key initiative, estimated for delivery by "the end of" 2022. The plan also sets out a number of National Waste Policy-aligned waste reduction and resource recovery targets.
Under the targets, which Environment Minister Elise Archer described in a statement as "ambitious, but achievable", the state would reduce the waste it generates by 10 per cent per person over the next 10 years.
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Tasmania would also achieve a 40 per cent average recovery rate from all waste streams by 2025 and 80 per cent by 2030, with the aim of having the lowest incidence of litter in the country by 2023. All packaging would be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
The volume of organic waste sent to landfill would also be reduced by 25 per cent by 2025, with a 50 per cent drop by 2030.
Ms Archer said that with a growing population and recent recycling export restrictions to China, it was important Tasmania took a "more strategic approach to the way it manages waste into the future".
"Dealing with our waste is a shared responsibility between all levels of government, the private sector, and the community," Ms Archer said. "The draft plan sets the proposed framework to address our identified priority issues, and seeks to provide a basis for our state to capture the opportunities for jobs growth and industry development here in Tasmania."
Industry figures have previously been critical of the state's lack of both a waste levy and container scheme. With a proposed plan for both, Tasmania now joins the majority of other Australian states.
Ms Archer said the process of finalising and implementing the plan would be done in collaboration with local government, businesses and the community.
The draft plan is open for submissions until October 7.
Local government calls answered
After long advocating for a statewide waste levy, the Local Government Association of Tasmania welcomed the plan as an "important initiative".
In a statement, LGAT president and Clarence City council mayor Doug Chipman said the sector had been calling for action and leadership on waste and recycling. He described both the waste levy and broader draft plan as "pleasing to see".
"We welcome the commitment by the state government to also develop legislation to control how the revenue collected from the levy will be directed," Cr Chipman said.
"This will ensure resources applied to supporting industry councils and the community in developing markets for recycled product and improving resource recovery.
"LGAT will work collaboratively with the state government to support this important initiative."
'Waste plan without action'
But the plan was missed chance to make a "bold statement and tangible difference", according to the Greens.
Environment spokesperson Rosalie Woodruff said the targets set were "woefully inadequate" relative to the scale of the state's waste problem and a council-agreed waste levy had been sitting with the government since 2014.
"Environment Minister Elise Archer's plan is an industry-led response," Ms Woodruff said. "These same unchecked industries have helped created the massive problems our community and environment now face."
"As we have seen, industries will stall as long as they can on any change. We need much stronger government targets and actions to clean up the mountains of waste clogging up waterways and landfill sites.
"As a state we generate a mountain of waste, and there's widespread community and council concern about mismanagement. The Liberals' plan only puts off the strong action we need to tackle it."
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