The Australian Federal government has committed $3 million to support four new recycling education and resource recovery projects, conducted by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and Planet Ark Environmental Foundation.
The funding commitment is part of the Federal government’s $100 million Environmental Restoration Fund and will provide essential resources and support to drive the delivery of the 2025 National Packaging Targets.
National Consumer Education Program
The program will receive $1.1 million to create a consistent national approach to consumer education on reducing, reusing and recycling packaging over the next four years.
It will extend the reach of the Australasian Recycling Label Program, an evidence-based labelling scheme that was launched by the Environment Minister Melissa Price in September 2018. It has since been adopted by more than 200 Australian organisations.
This new funding will allow the program to expand and include away from home recycling, the use of recycled content, compostable packaging and encouraging reduction and reuse behaviours.
Circular Economy Hub
A further $1.6 million in funding will support the development of the new online platform and marketplace, which will help drive innovation in the transition to a circular economy in Australia.
In addition to highlighting the latest sustainability education and resources, the site will match buyers and sellers in waste resources to help them identify products with sustainable materials, including recycled content.
This online marketplace functionality will help to build the critical end markets for recycled products in Australia and provide essential education to the supply-chain about the availability of sustainable options.
Regional Model for Soft Plastics Recycling
The project is a partnership between APCO and the Plastic Police – a program developed by Cross Connections to promote regional collection and recycling of soft plastics. The Plastic Policy program is currently operating in the NSW’s Hunter Region and will receive $150,000 to explore opportunities for expansion, including deployment in other regions.
Remote and Regional Waste Collection Partnership
Finally, a further $150,000 will be provided to the project, which aims to support governments and communities to address the challenges of waste and resource recovery in remote and regional areas.
“We are delighted the government has recognised the value of the ARL and the other connected projects that APCO and our partner network is committed to delivering,” said Brooke Donnelly, APCO CEO.
“This funding will enable us to continue our collaborative work with industry and our partners to ensure that we meet the 2025 targets and continue to work toward achieving a circular economy in Australia,” she said.
Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko said the Circular Economy Hub will provide businesses with the knowledge and tools needed for their transition to a circular economy.
“An important element will be the Circular Economy Marketplace, which will act as the B2B ‘eBay’ for the circular economy. Planet Ark is thrilled to have been entrusted with the development of these vital tools,” said Klymenko.