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New South Wales Invests in Plastic Recycling Tech

More plastic will be recycled and turned into new products in NSW as a result of AU$9 million in funding aimed at supporting businesses to transform their operations and access the latest plastic recycling technology. The Minister for the Environment stated that the new Circular Plastics Programme, part of the Circular Materials Fund, will focus on boosting the circular economy for plastics in NSW.

He noted that the programme is a game changer for the State as it will result in the reduction of the amount of plastic going to landfill and turning it into a valuable resource instead. Currently, NSW produces about 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year, and about 10% is recycled. The aim is to grow this figure and see plastic being repurposed and reused as many times as possible, rather than ending up in landfill or the environment.

Through this AU$9 million programme, the NSW Government is providing eligible businesses with the support they need to recycle and reuse more plastic when making new products. Businesses and the government are working together to create a cleaner future, and generate new market demand and value for recycled plastic.

The Circular Plastics Programme is part of the NSW Government’s target to triple the plastics recycling rate by 2030 and will be delivered by the NSW Environment Protection Authority. The matched funding will support small and medium businesses that may otherwise be challenged by initial capital costs involved in creating circularity in their business. The programme is part of the NSW Government’s AU$356 million Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 and the NSW Plastics Action Plan.

The Circular Plastics Programme provides new grant funding opportunities under the AU$10 million Circular Materials Fund (CMF). The CMF was created to support businesses in the transition to better plastic products and increase the recycling rate of plastics in NSW. This transition is a key action of the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 and the NSW Plastics Action Plan. The objectives of the CMF are to:

  • reduce the amount of virgin plastic used
  • reduce the amount of hard-to-recycle plastics used
  • increase the amount of recycled plastic in products
  • catalyse partnerships between producers, end users and the resource recovery sector.

Recent research found that the global waste recycling services market size to be valued at US$81.3 billion by 2028 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% during the forecast period. The rising consumer awareness pertaining to the benefits of garbage recycling is anticipated to have a positive impact on the market growth over the forecast period.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, impositions of lockdown resulted in a new type of waste known as pandemic waste, which includes gloves, masks, and respirators along with their packaging, which increased the waste generated due to the disruptions in the waste collection activities.

Rising concerns regarding waste management, coupled with increasing challenges regarding waste disposal, are expected to drive the demand for waste recycling services over the forecast period. The adoption of rigorous laws has accelerated research and development initiatives in waste recycling, which is expected to promote market growth over the forecast period.

The growing awareness about effective waste disposal for the preservation of animal and human health has resulted in the development of numerous disposal methods and procedures. The presence of high amounts of hazardous chemicals in the trash, such as metals and salts, has compelled the waste generating companies to dispose of or recycle the waste in a timely way. Urban population growth and increased disposable incomes are predicted to drive the domestic housing sector across the world.

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