Applications for plastic recycling grants worth $20 million, originally announced during the federal election campaign, have been opened today.
The Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) round 8 has been allocated that amount for “projects that address reducing plastic waste and boosting plastics recycling,” as well as $10.8 million purposed for “critical minerals projects.” The announcement was framed by prime minister Scott Morrison in terms of environmental protection and increasing recycling capacity, and follows a COAG announcement last Friday that the federal government, states and territories would establish a timetable to end waste exports.
“Boosting our onshore plastic recycling industry has the potential to create over three times as many jobs as exporting our plastic waste, ensuring a more sustainable and prosperous future,” said industry minister Karen Andrews in a statement on Tuesday.
“This funding will strengthen Australia’s recycling industry and help us achieve higher recycling rates.”
It’s estimated 4.4 million tonnes of recyclable waste was exported last year, at a cost of $2.8 billion.
An eventual waste export ban follows China’s clampdown on almost all recyclable imports beginning January 2018, followed by India doing the same, and other countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, returning Australian recyclable material after it exceeded allowable contamination levels.
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