The Federal Nationals in Government are 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 Nationals 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.

“This new national strategy is a chance to change the way Australia looks at waste, grow our economy and better protect our environment,” Mr Conaghan said.

“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.

“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 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).

Some of the local businesses doing innovative recycling of plastic in Mr Conaghan’s electorate include Coffs Harbour-based company Plastic Collective and Port Plastics.

The Nationals in Government are investing approximately $2.5 million in Plastic Collective, an initiative founded by Louise Hardman, to develop and manufacture a cutting edge solution to recycling waste plastics in remote and regional communities. The grant will build on Plastic Collective’s existing recycling machine, the Shruder Mk 2 prototype, to develop larger Shruder Recycling Stations able to recycle 124.8 tonnes of plastic each per year.

Port Plastics & Tooling is a family-owned business run by Richard Mainey in Port Macquarie that creates high quality plastic products for a range of purposes for the automotive, building, electronic and marine industries. It also uses waste plastic to make landscaping bricks.

For more information on the RMF visit https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste-resource-recovery.