China’s Ban on Foreign Waste Remind Australia: It’s Time to Transform Recycling!

After China bans the import of waste, how can Australia cope with the problem of garbage?

About 30 per cent of Australia's recyclable waste is exported to China.(Glyn Jones) Source: ABC NEWS

Story Idea

Source: The Age

Since China announced that it no longer imports overseas waste, Australia faces a series of garbage problems. A lot of rubbish that was exported to China before has no place to dump now, especially the mixed scrap plastic.

The story idea is to write a commentary on China’s ban on the import of foreign waste, which includes some points.

  • Why China prohibits the import of foreign garbage?
  • What does this policy mean for Australia?
  • Without China, where is our waste now?
  • How can we cope with the problems this policy brings to Australia?
  • Is there any new technology that can improve Australia’s waste problem?
  • What can the public and some companies do? ·

Through these points, I hope to make Australians aware of their problems in waste disposal. Although China’s ban may cause some trouble for Australia, it is not a bad thing. Instead, it can give Australia a warning bell. It is time to change our waste management methods. It is entirely not enough to just bury garbage. What we need more is recycling garbage.

Audience and Website


Source: Sydney Morning Herald

The topic of my commentary belongs to the environment, which is related to the life of each Australian and the future of sustainable development. Therefore, my target audience is Australia’s well-educated people, because they may be more aware of the importance of environmental sustainability for human society. Thus they will be more concerned about environmental issues and how to solve the problem of waste recycling.

The news media I think is suitable for my commentary is the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), which is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Australia and a national online news brand. From the audience demographic, it can be seen that most of the SMH audience are well-educated adults and has high household income. Beside, SMH has more than five million readers each month, which will enable more readers to see my commentary and raise public awareness of garbage recycling.

Source of Information

Official website
Interview list
  • Jenni Downes, a research consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Futures
  • Elsa Dominish, a Senior Research Consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Futures
  • Paul Klymenko, CEO of Planet Ark
  • Veena Sahajwalla, from the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology at UNSW Australia;

Online delivery

  • Embedded links to related readings and original materials
  • Embedded relevant Facebook or Twitter post
  • A smart photo slider to show Australia’s current garbage problem
  • Some infographics to display the data such as how many export garbage of Australia
  • The video of “Plastic China
  • Some Gifs to show the issues that foreign waste brings to China
  • some images to illustrate the recycling model of Australia
  • The image and text of interviewer
  • Social sharing buttons
  • Comment feature

Word count: 502


About Fangxi Liu 3 Articles
Hi, I am graduate student at the University of Sydney and major in digital communication and culture. Love life, love writing, love travel. Willing to communicate with you, if you like, contact me via the button below!


  1. Hi Rachel,

    Great pitch! I think your commentary proposal is highly newsworthy, and your angle/points you are covering are strong. I think you have chosen good information sources, and propose web writing techniques that will add value to your story. One thing to consider would be how much time you plan to devote to each of your six points, as it is quite a lot to cover. Perhaps you can link to other news sources that talk more in depth about the first three points, so that you can summarise those briefly, and explore in depth your last three points that I feel are new and key to your argument.

    I look forward to reading your final piece!

  2. Hi Rachel! I think this is a great story pitch to elaborate. And the angle you are going to focus is very attractive. These questions you asked relates to a long-term strategy that the government is going to seriously consider. And the selection of interviewees is very strong and authoritative.
    Just a few things that you need to further consider to my opinion are that, firstly, you can work more on the multimedia. For example to use Google map or street view to show the changes of environment would be if the waste wouldn’t send to China anymore. It could make the article more shocking and educational. Secondly, to narrow down the questions because if you cover each question, it won’t be enough allowance to answer all the questions and each answer might be superficial.
    Looking forward to your final work and wish you good luck!


Leave a Reply