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Work underway to boost recycling options for foreign ships at Australian ports

Wednesday 15 May 2024

AMSA is collaborating on a trial providing more recycling options for visiting foreign ships.

Large red recycling hoppers on board a vessel

AMSA and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) are conducting a trial to understand the options for recycling ships' waste from international ships visiting Australian ports. 

Six ports around Australia are participating in the recycling trial with various categories of recyclable materials being collected from international commercial and cruise ships. This trial will allow AMSA and DAFF to gather data for a maritime recycling risk assessment. The risk assessment will investigate the level of biosecurity risk associated with each of the types of recyclable materials, such as plastics and glass, and will inform which waste categories can be permitted into the domestic waste recycling processes after biosecurity risks have been mitigated.

Previous research suggests that many recyclable materials of low biosecurity risk could be collected from international ships and could be redirected from landfill to domestic recycling. Currently, Australia’s strict biosecurity rules for waste coming off international ships results in much of it being treated as biosecurity waste and ending up in landfill. This is a significant missed opportunity for recycling and sustainability.

This effort is part of our commitment to sustainable shipping and protecting the marine environment. 

Learn more about the important work 

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