The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and the Planet Ark Environmental Foundation (PAEF) have received $3 million in federal funding to support new recycling education and resource recovery projects.
The funding forms part of the Federal Government’s $100 million Environmental Restoration Fund, and will provide resources and support to drive the delivery of the 2025 National Packaging Targets.
The National Consumer Education Program (NCEP) has been allocated $1.1 million to create a consistent national approach to consumer education on reducing, reusing and recycling packaging over the next four years.
NCEP will extend the reach of the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) Program, an evidence-based labelling scheme delivered by APCO and launched by Environment Minister Melissa Price in September 2018.
APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly said she is pleased the government have recognised the value of ARL, and other connected projects delivered by the organisation.
“This funding will enable us to continue our collaborative work with industry and our partners to ensure we meet the 2025 targets and continue to work toward achieving a circular economy in Australia,” Ms Donnelly said.
A further $1.6 million will support the development of a Circular Economy Hub, a new online platform and marketplace developed by PAEF and designed to help drive innovation in the transition to a circular economy in Australia.
PAEF CEO Paul Klymenko said the website will match buyers and sellers in waste resources, helping them identify products with sustainable materials, including recycled content.
“An important element will be the Circular Economy Marketplace, which will act as the B2B ‘eBay’ for the circular economy,” Mr Klymenko said.
“Planet Ark is thrilled to have been entrusted with the development of these vital tools.”
The Regional Model for Soft Plastics Recycling project, a partnership between APCO and the Plastic Police based in NSW’s Hunter Valley, will receive $150,000 to explore opportunities for expansion – including extending deployment to other regions.
A further $150,000 will also be provided to the Remote and Regional Waste Collection Partnership, a project aiming to support governments and communities address the challenges of waste and resource recovery in remote and regional areas.