Australia’s recycling boom is breaking new barriers

Environment Minister Sussan Ley said Australia’s Recycling Modernization Fund is set to break the billion dollar barrier, generating unprecedented investment in the country’s recycling capacity.

Originally planned to generate $600 million in investment across the Commonwealth, States, Territories and industry, the Fund is nearing the $1 billion mark with projects already generating nearly 3,000 jobs in construction and ongoing jobs.

While only Queensland has yet to announce its investment plans, the green light has now been given to 87 projects across Australia dealing with plastic, tire, glass and paper waste.

Environment Minister Sussan Ley said the capacity of these projects alone will create 1.3 million tonnes of new recycling capacity per year, more than double the volume subject to the export ban. of Morrison government waste.

“Much of the recycling infrastructure needed to drive Australia’s circular economy is now in place, under construction or approved for funding,” Minister Ley said.

“Our history made the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020 the world’s first export ban on unprocessed plastic, glass, tires and paper, because it was the right thing to do for the environment and the right way to create jobs in Australia. .

“The RMF is proving to be the engine room of the circular economy as industry backs the initiative and we increasingly look for new ways to turn old products into new ones.

“Economic analysis estimates that circular communities can generate $175 billion in direct economic benefits over twenty years and save 16.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year in Australia by 2040.”

Deputy Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans said the 87 projects already online had generated 1,747 construction jobs and 1,003 ongoing positions.

“Recycling is a necessity for our environmental and economic future, and the Morrison government is implementing real microeconomic reform through this fund,” said Deputy Minister Evans.

“We are seeing exciting new technologies come into play with projects such as Environex and Timberlink working together to transform hair salons’ hard-to-recycle plastic bottles into valuable wood composites, and a first ‘drum pulper’ Australian that can handle about 60% of Victoria’s pavement. recycling of paper and cardboard.


The government has co-invested over $104.5 million for 54 new plastics projects, 21 in the region of Australia, to reprocess our plastic waste into new products.

These projects will process 276,218 tonnes of plastic each year, nearly one and a half times the amount of plastic subject to the export ban.

The government already has 11 projects in line that target the transformation of more than 17,000 tonnes of plastic per year.

Over 35% of plastics projects are expected to be completed by July, with just over half expected to be operational by the end of the year and over 90% expected to be completed by the end of 2023.


The government has co-invested more than $29.5 million in 26 glass projects, including 12 in regional areas, to reprocess waste glass.

These will generate 480,770 tonnes of onshore processing capacity, nearly 30 times the amount subject to the export ban.

Four projects targeting glass are already online and process nearly 48,000 tonnes per year. The government expects just over half of the projects to be completed by July 2022. By the end of 2023, over 90% of the projects will be completed.


The government has co-invested more than $27.5 million in 10 tire projects, including two in the Australia region, to generate 125,180 tonnes of processing capacity each year. is more than double the amount subject to the export ban.

The government expects that by the end of this year, more than 60% of the tire projects will be operational and all of them will be completed by the end of 2023.

Paper and cardboard

The government has co-invested more than $88 million in 14 paper and board projects, including four in regional Australia, to reprocess waste paper and board into new products.

These will generate 415,567 tonnes of onshore processing capacity, or around 110% of the quantity subject to the export ban.

Two projects that target paper and cardboard are currently online processing 180 tonnes per year and the government expects over 60% to be completed by July 2023.

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