No matter how many times you try and recycle plastic, one day it will reach end of life. As a waste stream it is problematic – landfills don’t want it, while environmentalists believe burning it when it is in is residual state, no matter how ‘clean’ the technology, is unacceptable. Those who champion zero waste would rather researchers, and those that produce plastic, work on ways of making it more biodegradable, or give it properties that greatly reduce its end-of-life impact on the environment.
Photo Credit: RMIT University
Researchers have developed a clean and cost-effective way to upcycle used plastic, transforming it into nanomaterials and high-quality fuel.
Australian start up switch2 Engineering has developed a technology that can convert brewery wastewater into hydrogen, a clean burning fuel. By doing so, breweries are able to repurpose the hydrogen as a fuel for heating, transportation and electricity. Using this technology, breweries can not only save costs on utility bills, but do so sustainably, according to the founders.
Following successful results from its 2020 field trials, which used recycled alkaline battery material as a fertiliser micronutrient, Envirostream Australia, the recycling division of Lithium Australia, has expanded its field trial programme for 2021.
The Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo is researching a new method to reduce food waste by recycling discarded fruit and vegetable scraps into robust construction materials.
NSW councils need to be more consistent in their pricing and will be regulated to do so, according to Gerard O’Dea, principal analyst for IPART NSW.
As 2020 draws to a close and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to frame discussions in boardrooms across the country, the Director of CSIRO James Darvell shares his thoughts on the key takeaways for Australian businesses.
The Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford, has released a report that examined the effectiveness of the waste levy and grants for waste infrastructure in minimising the amount of waste sent to landfill and increasing recycling rates.
The 2020 Food Waste Report by Rabobank illustrates that the Coronavirus pandemic has derailed Australia’s progress in reducing food waste, leading to a spike in the amount of food Australian households are throwing out.
Founded in 2008 by Professor Veena Sahajwalla, the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at the University of New South Wales, collaborates with industry, global research partners, not-for-profits, and governments to develop innovative environmental solutions for some of the world’s largest waste challenges.