Recycling infrastructure fund to fill gap in sustainability transition

Australia’s peak retail body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), has welcomed the Federal Government’s new $60 million hard-to-recycle plastics fund – to upgrade and build new recycling infrastructure.  

The announcement of the fund comes after the recent decision to implement national standards and design rules for packaging, as well as the continued rollout of state-by-state single use plastics bans.  

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said the funding of infrastructure to support the transition to a circular economy is a very positive step to accelerate change and strengthen the necessary collaboration between stakeholders.   

“With the profound shifts in environmental challenges and customer expectations, retailers have a strong appetite to reduce waste and embrace sustainability,” Mr Zahra said. 

“Today’s announcement serves as a strong reassurance for retailers, that the Federal Government is working collaboratively to support this transition to a circular economy.  

“Embracing sustainability requires a holistic approach and collaboration across government, industry and consumers. We can’t rely solely on industry to drive change – and we are very supportive of the soft plastics recycling fund.” 

Mr Zahra said that while the retail industry is working hard to reduce plastics pollution – a lack of infrastructure has been a hurdle to progress.  

“Retailers have taken this transition in their stride, but the unfortunate reality is that they don’t have the capital to invest in much-needed infrastructure to recycle soft plastics such as shopping bags and cling wrap,” Mr Zahra added.  

“That is why investment in new and upgraded recycling infrastructure is so important.” 

At the meeting of Environment Ministers in June, Ministers reiterated their desire to transition Australia from a “take, make, waste” economy toward a more resilient and regenerative circular economy. 

For more information on how to apply for grants of between $1 million and $20 million visit: The RMF Plastics Technology stream.  


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