Australia has been struggling with a recycling issue. The country has been shipping 35 percent of their recyclable plastics and 30 percent of their paper and cardboard to China, but China has recently tightened up their limits on how "contaminated" those shipments can be. Because of improper recycling procedures, a certain amount of most people's recycling waste can't actually be processed.
Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli was met with local resistance over a plan to just put all recycling contents directly into a landfill. Ultimately, they decided that the local Council needed to push education on the matter, so people understand what happens when they don't sort properly.
"The cost is not the issue — the issue is contamination," he said. "If we can't meet a certain level of contamination, they [China] won't accept it — it'll go to landfill. At present there are quite simply too many pizza boxes, plastic bags, burger wrappers and other items not fit for recycling."
Now, the Guardian reports that Australia's government is taking a huge step, and setting 2025 as their goal for making all packaging produced in the country "reusable, compostable or recyclable." The Malcolm Turnbull administration is also promising to ensure the use of more recycled materials when it comes to government projects like building roads, and to generally improve recycling capacity.