Circular Economy

Australia’s first Circular Economy Lab launched

In an Australian-first, a Circular Economy (CE) Lab has been recently launched in Brisbane, which heralds the emergence of the next generation of business in Queensland.

Leeanne Enoch, minister for environment and the Great Barrier Reef and minister for science, said the Palaszczuk government had pledged $150,000 to start the initiative, which will launch innovative projects to change the way we think about materials, resources and waste in Queensland.

“The launch of the CE Lab will help to propel Queensland’s transition to a new low-carbon and circular economy, delivering new opportunities for industry and more jobs for Queenslanders,” Enoch said.

“We need to move to a more circular way of thinking and acting towards our valuable materials and resources, instead of simply using and throwing things away.

“If we keep resources circulating in the economy, retaining the highest value for as long as possible, it will provide opportunities for new ways of thinking, new businesses and importantly new jobs.”

A key feature of the CE Lab will be to consolidate industry, research and government partnerships and expertise to identify and deliver three initial circular economy pilot projects. These partnerships, once operational, will focus on understanding what actions Queensland can take today to manage the transition to the circular economy of tomorrow.

“The CE Lab will test ideas and explore opportunities with leaders from across a range of sectors,” Enoch said.

“The circular economy concept is relatively new in Australia, but it is well established overseas and continues to gain traction. This work certainly aligns with the vision outlined in the Queensland government’s Draft Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy, which is currently open for public feedback.

“I commend Coreo and Business Models Inc. on driving the establishment of this trailblazing new initiative.”

According to Leanne Kemp, Queensland’s chief entrepreneur, the CE Lab means Queensland is amongst the world leaders in acknowledging that there is an urgent need for a circular economy.

“For a long time, we’ve existed in a linear take-make-dispose economy. A circular economy is not just about recycling the products we use, it’s about creating new economic opportunities,” Kemp said.

“A circular economy will transform the way we design, teach, invest and buy. In a circular economy there is no waste, and at the worst attempt, there is less.

“A circular economy designs products with disassembly and reuse in mind and materials are sourced as an enabler for extension of life or reuse in closed-loop or extended loop applications.”

For more information, visit the Circular Economy Lab website.