Up to 190,000 tonnes of soft plastic packaging per year, the equivalent of almost 200 billion chocolate wrappers will be recycled and reprocessed under just one of the proposals funded through the Morrison Government’s National Product Stewardship Investment Fund (NPSIF).
The Morrison Government is funding 15 projects out of the $10.5 million scheme with the Australian Food and Grocery Council securing a grant that will bring the food and grocery supply chain together for the first time to tackle the problem of hard to recycle consumer plastics.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the AFGC-led scheme is a positive outcome from the first National Plastics Summit held earlier this year.
“Plastic litter takes hundreds of years to breakdown in the environment and when it does, it turns into harmful microplastics which have a disastrous effect on the environment and the marine environment, Minister Ley said.
“We have made it clear that industry needs to take action for their waste. We are investing $10.5 million to seed 11 new and expand four existing industry-led initiatives that will make a practical environmental difference and it is great to see industry respond strongly to our call.
“Initiatives like the AFGCs will lift the recycling rates of hard to recycle consumer plastics like chocolate and chip wrappers from around 10 per cent to 65 per cent by 2030. These are the sorts of practical outcomes that will boost consumer confidence when they recycle.
“Not only will these initiatives see better outcomes for the environment, they will also create around 600 jobs at a time when many Australians are looking for work.”
Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans said the 15 successful projects will move the dial in Australia as we change our mindsets to thinking about waste as a resource.
“Australians are increasingly looking to responsibly recycle or give new life to their unwanted products and this funding will deliver recycling schemes for items such as mattresses, used cosmetics, child car seats, old uniforms, coffee pods and farm plastics,” Assistant Minister Evans said.
“Our seed funding, along with the reforms in our Recycling Act, empowers industry and product experts to take more responsibility for their products.
“The grants were six-times oversubscribed which clearly shows the appetite in Australia for putting the power of recycling into the hands of businesses and consumers.
“There will be further opportunities for funding, and I encourage everyone to work with the new Product Stewardship Centre for Excellence to progress their ideas.”