New $190 million fund to boost Australia's recycling capacity

RECYCLING PLANS: Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan with the Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley at Lake Innes
RECYCLING PLANS: Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan with the Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley at Lake Innes

The Australian Government is turbocharging the country's recycling capacity after the Council of Australian Governments agreed to progressively ban the export of plastic, paper, tyres and glass waste from July 2020.

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said the $190 million commitment to a new Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) would accelerate industry investment in recycling and create an estimated 10,000 jobs in the future.

"The National Waste Policy Action Plan represents a real change in how Australia views waste plastic, paper, tyres and glass - it's a resource, not a waste," Mr Conaghan said.

"There are some great local businesses doing innovative things to recycle waste plastic already, along with local councils trialling the performance of new road bases that contain a proportion of used truck tyres and other waste.

"This is an industry I think will grow exponentially in the future and it has the benefit of diverting an estimated 10 million tonnes of waste from landfill into useful products."

The $190 million RMF will support innovative investment in new infrastructure to sort, process and remanufacture materials such as mixed plastic, paper, tyres and glass, with Commonwealth funding contingent on co-funding from industry, States and Territories.

It is estimated the RMF will generate about $600 million of investment in total.

The Australian Government is providing:

  • $35 million to implement Commonwealth commitments under Australia's National Waste Policy Action Plan, which sets the direction for waste management and recycling in Australia until 2030.
  • $24.6 million on Commonwealth commitments to improve our national waste data so it can measure recycling outcomes and track progress against our national waste targets.
  • New Commonwealth waste legislation to formally enact the Government's waste export ban and encourage companies to take greater responsibility for the waste they generate, from product design through to recycling, remanufacture or disposal (Product Stewardship).

* This initiative does not include the disposal of waste from the red bins, which is currently an issue for Nambucca, Bellingen and Coffs City Councils, following changes to EPA regulations in 2019.

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