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Retail welcomes expansion of national plastic recycling fund

(Source: Bigstock)

The Australian government has announced an additional investment of $60 million in the Recycling Modernisation Fund, bringing the total investment to $250 million.

The fund will focus on advanced plastic recycling technology and tackle problematic single-use plastics like bread bags, chip packets, cereal box liners, chocolate wrappings. 

“This new funding stream, dedicated to helping solve the problem of hard to recycle plastic waste, demonstrates our determination to invest in Australian industry, to growing the recycling sector and to creating a stronger economy and stronger future for Australia,” said Scott Morrison, Prime Minister.

Australian Retail Association CEO Paul Zahra said the newly announced initiatives will help provide retailers with more options to embrace the circular economy, improve recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. 

Major grocery and food manufacturers, such as Arnott’s, Unilever, Mars Wrigley and others along with the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), also welcomed the announcement. 

AFGC CEO Tanya Barden said that the grocery and manufacturing industry is committed to creating an effective and sustainable circular economy for plastic packaging. 

“Our industry understands that we must maximise recycling to reduce the use of virgin plastics, build Australia’s advanced recycling capabilities and avoid harmful effects on the environment.”

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the funding will ‘fast track’ access to advanced recycling infrastructures. 

“Australia has set a high bar as the first country in the world to ban the export of waste plastic, we will continue to take strong action on plastics in our own backyard by investing in technology, manufacturing capability and jobs.”

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