National Sword Policy

National Sword Policy
Photo of plastic bottles
Australia processes approximately 50 per cent of its recycling onshore and, with the remaining 50 per cent, the majority is sent to China. National Sword Policy Australia processes approximately 50 per cent of its recycling onshore and, with the remaining 50 per cent, the majority is sent to China. Waste and Recycling; Resident

Photo of plastic bottles 

National Sword Policy – what is it?

Australia processes approximately 50 per cent of its recycling onshore and, with the remaining 50 per cent, the majority was sent to China.

Earlier this year, China implemented its new National Sword Policy which has put restrictions on the kinds of recyclable material they will accept. It indicates China will only accept recyclable materials with a contamination rate of 0.5 per cent or less.

Contamination of recyclable materials occurs when items that do not belong in the recycling bin are placed in that bin. For example, placing plastic bags, garbage bags and other plastic wraps in your recycling bin contaminates that entire collection. The recyclable material Australia sent to China had a contamination rate of 6 per cent.​​

What is CBCity doing?

The City of Canterbury Bankstown, along with councils all over Australia, are committed to working with industry and State and Federal Governments to come up with strategies to lower our national contamination rate.

We're working hard on our successful recycling initiatives, including:

  • Maintaining the kerbside service across the City and encouraging households to keep recycling;

  • Reducing contamination in recycling bins by providing information, education and behaviour-change programs. This includes our Recycle Right program, where residents are rewarded for recycling correctly;

  • Trialling the use of crushed glass, as a substitute for sand​, in road and other construction projects. We're currently seeking funding from the NSW Government to support this; and

  • Implementing a new policy, Closing the Loop, which will increase the volume of recycled material used across Council, creating an increased demand for recycled products. 

What can you do?

Residents hold a powerful position in helping reduce the contamination rate. This is simply by recycling right. For every household recycling bin that is filled correctly, we're one step closer to having cleaner recyclable material.

To find out which bin you should put your rubbish in, visit cb.city/householdwaste