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Catholic Religious Australia says it is impossible to recycle our way to zero waste (Bigstock)

Catholic Religious Australia says it supports the Albanese Government’s renewed focus on improved waste management and recycling activities but believes the Government is placing too much focus on increasing recycling rather than reducing overall production and consumption.

In CRA’s recent submission to a Senate inquiry into the effectiveness of the Government’s waste reduction and recycling policies in delivering a circular economy, CRA expressed concern that current production and consumption levels will continue to put unsustainable demands on the recycling process, and that alternate strategies would offer viable ecological, social, and financial solutions.

“The spirit of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ message implies a committed attentiveness to actions undertaken in the name of environmental concern, and so CRA has called on the Government to refocus its policies on a reduction in production and consumption and the reuse of already circulating materials,” said CRA President Fr Peter Jones OSA.

“It is impossible to recycle our way to zero waste, as most materials will degrade into less and less recyclable material over time, with recycled plastic continuously shedding pollutant microplastics and toxic chemicals.”

CRA also expressed concern that Australia’s plastic waste exports to non-OECD countries are increasing, despite a legislative ban on the export of unprocessed waste overseas.

CRA urged the Government to embrace strategies that convert “our current throwaway economy into one where waste generation is avoided, finite resources are circulated, and nature is allowed to regenerate”.

Read CRA’s submission.


CRA calls for progress towards a circular economy (CRA)