Sydney, Aug 13 : Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison admitted he "got really angry" after learning that only 12 per cent of the country's plastic materials actually get recycled.
Morrison announced a 20 million Australian dollar ($13.5 million) fund for innovative recycling projects in Sydney on Tuesday and said more needs to be done to clean up Australia's waste industry.
"We tell our kids and we tell ourselves that when you put that plastic bottle in the separated bin, that there is a promise there coming back saying well this is going to get recycled. It's going to be reused somewhere," Xinhua quoted him as saying.
"And that promise is being broken to people."
Looking to spark some creative solutions after last week's decision to set a timeline on all Australian export waste, Morrison said Australia currently exported 1.5 million tonnes of waste offshore every year, including plastics, glass and paper."But it's our waste and that means it's our responsibility," said Morrison.
While today's announcement is primarily aimed at securing Australia's environmental future, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews added that waste management also had the potential to be "an industry of the future.""It's much more than just the process of recycling the material," she said.
She said there would be jobs in many areas, including design, production and after-production processes.
"A 1km stretch of road with two lanes can use up to 500,000 plastic bags in its production along with other materials," said Andrews.
"So what we want to do in Australia is building the industry research and collaboration and connections and make sure that we are looking at innovative ways to recycle and to build our waste recycling industry here in Australia." (UNI)