In March 2020, the Australian, state and territory governments, and the Australian Local Government Association, as members of the former Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that the export of waste glass, plastic, tyres and paper be regulated by the Australian government.
Find out about glass specifications.
We regulate the export of waste glass under the:
- Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020
- Recycling and Waste Reduction (Export—Waste Glass) Rules 2020.
Currently, there are no fees associated with getting a licence to export waste glass or declaring your consignments of waste glass.
Glass we regulate
We regulate waste glass that is either:
- recovered from an industrial, commercial or domestic activity
- a by-product of an industrial, commercial or domestic activity.
This includes whole or broken glass, formed packaging and flat sheet glass such as car windscreens, windows or whole or broken bottles.
Glass we don’t regulate
Glass we do not regulate is glass that either:
- is exported solely for personal or domestic use
- has been imported into Australia on a temporary basis and re-exported in the same container and with the same trade description.
If you export waste that we do not regulate, you can continue to export as usual and the requirements and conditions set out in these pages do not apply.
Glass you can export
You can only export waste glass that has been processed into, for example, furnace-ready or non-furnace-ready glass cullet or fines.
Furnace-ready glass fines and/or cullet are ready to be re-melted and remanufactured into, for example, new glass containers, flat glass and glass foam. Container glass can be recycled and re-melted into new containers many times.
Non-furnace-ready glass fines and/or cullet can only be used once. They can be used for many purposes, for example, abrasive, construction, decorative and filtration applications.
What you need to do
You must apply for and be granted, a waste export licence to export regulated waste glass.
Find out how to apply.
For information on what you need to do, including applying for an export licence, read our guide to exporting.
Report on industry standards
Prior to the regulation of waste glass, the department commissioned a report on the waste glass industry.
The report sets out standards and specifications used for furnace-ready and non-furnace-ready waste glass and other material flow, manufacturing and market factors. The report is an important reference for the department, including when assessing waste glass licence applications.
As the report contains commercial-in-confidence information on organisations that consulted on the report, a snapshot of the report is available for your information.