In March 2020, the Australian, state and territory governments, and the Australian Local Government Association, as members of the former Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that the export of waste glass, plastic (including processed engineered fuel), tyres and paper be regulated by the Australian Government.
We regulate the export of certain waste from Australia under the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020.
Each type of waste will have its own rules. When the rules start, you will only be able to export your waste if it meets the requirements of the relevant rules. You will also need to:
- hold a waste export licence for the waste type
- declare each consignment to us as well as the Australian Border Force.
We have regulated the export of waste glass since 1 January 2021.
We have regulated the export of waste plastic since 1 July 2021.
We have regulated the export of waste tyres since 1 December 2021.
Paper and cardboard
We will start to regulate some waste paper and cardboard on 1 July 2024. The call for submissions on the draft Recycling and Waste Reduction (Export - Paper and Cardboard) Rules 2023 have now closed. A summary of stakeholder feedback will be posted on the Have Your Say consultation webpage shortly.
Separate requirements apply for the export of hazardous waste.
Check the export requirements for hazardous waste.
How the regulations affect Australia
By ensuring we only export properly processed waste glass, plastic, tyres and paper, we are preventing these materials from being dumped overseas, reducing harm to the environment and human health.
We are also building our capacity to turn these waste materials into high-value, recycled commodities in Australia. This will:
- create jobs
- build a more sophisticated industry
- have positive outcomes for the environment and community wellbeing in Australia and overseas.
We are investing $250 million in the Recycling Modernisation Fund. These funds will help transform Australia’s waste and recycling capacity.
Find out how we are partnering with state and territory governments to deliver these funds.