The former Environment Protection and Heritage Council agreed to commence a Packaging Impacts Regulation Impacts Statement (RIS) process on 5 July 2010, to investigate a number of national approaches to managing packaging waste and litter reduction.
On 30 November 2011, the former Standing Council on Environment and Water agreed to release the Consultation RIS on 7 December 2011 for a three month public consultation period, closing on 30 March 2012. During this period, written submissions were invited and public forums were held in all capital cities and three regional cities, to obtain feedback on the seven options analysed.
Agreement to release the Consultation RIS was a key step in the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) process for considering appropriate action to address a problem, including national regulation.
On 24 August 2012, ministers agreed to progress with a Decision RIS, to undertake a thorough analysis of the options presented in the Consultation RIS plus three additional options, including regional and other distributional impacts.
Prior to commencement of the Decision RIS, a policy options paper describing the seven industry-based options and three container deposit legislation approaches was developed. This paper provided a description of the ten options under investigation and incorporated views from key stakeholders.
The Decision RIS was assessed by the Office of Best Practice Regulation as being compliant with the COAG best practice regulation guidelines on 22 April 2014. Environment ministers considered the Decision RIS at their meeting of 29 April 2014, and determined that more time was required for jurisdictions to consider the analysis of the Decision RIS.
Consideration for any new national regulation was brought to a close on 19 December 2014, on the basis that no consensus had been reached on the ten options analysed in the Decision RIS. In the absence of agreement on the need for additional national level regulation, existing arrangements, which include the successful Australian Packaging Covenant, are to continue.