The first National Plastics Summit wants Australians to use plastic as an "economic resource".
Environment Minister and Member for Farrer Sussan Ley announced the summit in Albury yesterday and said it is time for Australians to step up and create more ways to recycle plastic.
"We will be calling to Canberra in March, state and local governments, waste management organisations, young people who care about recycling and all our fantastic innovators and entrepreneurs for a plastic recycling summit," she said from the Albury Recycling Centre.
"This is a really important step on our government's determination to find new and innovative ways to recycle so much of the plastic that's in the environment that we don't want to see in landfill or in our oceans."
Ms Ley said plastic waste won't be sent overseas after 2021 and now is the time to start thinking about innovation.
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"We are seeing an exponential rise in plastics, particularly single-use plastics," she said.
"They clog up our recycling facilities, they end up in landfill but they can have another use - they can be made into outdoor furniture, railway sleepers and picture frames.
"We don't want to see waste as a problem we want to see it as an economic resource and that is what this recycling summit is all about."
More than 200 will be invited to take part in the summit to address the challenges of plastics and recycling and will be invited to showcase solutions, actions and address the National Waste Policy Action Plan target of phasing out plastics over the next five years.
Ms Ley said they will be looking for commitments from industry that will create jobs, research opportunities, education initiatives and community outcomes.
"I want a very special space at the plastic summit for children because when I talk to young people in primary school they are giving me the information not the other way around," she said.
"We're holding our heads high in regional Australia, I am very proud of that, but I want to see that consistency right across the country.
"It is our waste, it is our responsibility. I always say if you pick up a plastic drink bottle wouldn't it be good to be able to say this has been plastic before."
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