ACT Greens invite community to share a vision for Canberra’s Circular Economy


On Wednesday, Jo Clay MLA will launch her discussion paper, ‘The ACT Greens Vision for our Circular Economy’. To celebrate, Jo will be joined by ACT Greens Party Leader Shane Rattenbury MLA and guest speakers Mia Swainson (Chair of Zero Waste Revolution and author of Happy Planet Living) and Helen Oakey (Executive Director of the Conservation Council).

“The Greens believe in looking after people and the planet. But the climate crisis and the latest State of the Environment report show we have more work to do," said Jo Clay, ACT Greens Spokesperson for Circular Economy. 

“Since 2008, the Greens have held balance of power in the Assembly, and since 2012 have held Government ministries. In that time we’ve made amazing progress on climate action. We lead the nation with 100% renewable electricity, our plan to transition away from gas and internal combustion vehicles, and our commitment to electric vehicles . I’d like to see the ACT make the same progress on waste.

“In the 1990s, the ACT set a world-leading zero waste target of No Waste by 2010. We introduced kerbside recycling, garden-waste drop off and construction and demolition recycling. Waste to landfill decreased and recycling increased. But for the last 15 years, ACT resource recovery has plateaued at around 75%. 

“Overall consumption has also increased. The ACT is generating around a million tonnes of stuff each year. We cannot deal with this as a waste problem alone. It is a fundamental problem with our economy and we need a new approach.

“Over the last 18 months, I’ve had hundreds of conversations about this with the Canberra community and the environment sector. I’ve visited local recycling businesses and social enterprises, many of whom already operate in a Circular Economy framework. I’ve welcomed new ACT Government initiatives, like FOGO and a new Materials Recovery Facility. 

“I’ve put some of these lessons and observations into a discussion paper and  now I’d like to spark conversation about how Canberra can move to a Circular Economy.

“I invite the Canberra community to join me at this free event. Have some lunch, share your ideas and meet some amazing people taking local action on our big environmental problems.”

Read the Discussion Paper here.