Australian-first Circular Economy Lab opens

In a first for Australia, a Circular Economy (CE) Lab launched this week in Brisbane, which will see industry, research and government partnerships to identify and deliver three initial pilot projects.

Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government had pledged $150,000 to start the initiative which will launch innovative projects to change the way we think about materials, resources and waste in Queensland.

“Today’s launch of theCE Lab will help to propel Queensland’s transition to a new low-carbon and circular economy, delivering new opportunities for industry and more jobs for Queenslanders,” Minister Enoch said.

She said Queensland needs to move to a more-circular way of thinking and acting towards its valuable materials and resources, instead of simply using and throwing things away.

“A key feature of the CE Lab will be to consolidate industry, research and government partnerships and expertise to identify and deliver three initial circular economy pilot projects,” she said.

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“These partnerships, once operational, will focus on understanding what actions Queensland can take today to manage the transition to the circular economy of tomorrow.”

She said the CE Lab will test ideas and explore opportunities with leaders from across a range of sectors.

“The circular economy concept is relatively new in Australia, but it is well established overseas and continues to gain traction,” Minister Enoch said.

“This work certainly aligns with the vision outlined in the Queensland Government’s Draft Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy which is currently open for public feedback.

“I commend Coreo and Business Models Inc. on driving the establishment of this trailblazing new initiative.”

Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp said the CE Lab means Queensland is amongst the world leaders in acknowledging that there is an urgent need for a circular economy.

“For a long time, we’ve existed in a linear take-make-dispose economy. A circular economy is not just about recycling the products we use, it’s about creating new economic opportunities,” Ms Kemp said.

“A circular economy will transform the way we design, teach, invest and buy. In a circular economy there is no waste and at the worst attempt there is less.

“A circular economy designs products with disassembly and re-use in mind and materials are sourced as an enabler for extension of life or reuse in closed loop or extended loop applications.”