The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has compiled a comprehensive gap analysis on the market barriers to recovering soft plastics. Waste Management Review sat down with APCO’s Brooke Donnelly to discuss how it fits into the broader plastics issue.
Waste Management Review speaks to RED Group’s Rebecca Gleghorn about the success of its soft plastics recycling program.
Waste Expo Australia has revealed the latest Australian and global technology innovations to be featured at Waste Evolution, a feature showcase that will be on display at next month’s event.
Waste Evolution will showcase new technologies, prototypes, products and processes set to change waste management and resource recovery in Australia. A series of hands-on demonstrations and case study-led seminar sessions will feature:
- Deakin University’s 3D printer, which is bringing clean water to the Pacific and cleaning up plastic waste
- Green Eco Technologies’ new WasteMaster waste processing system, which aims to reduce the weight and volume of food waste by up to 80 per cent
- Newtechpoly’s home-grown Aussie technology PolyWaste, which economically turns plastic litter such as what is washed up on beaches, into furniture and value-added plastic products
- The first solar generation system of its kind on an Australian landfill, designed and implemented by Joule Energy
- Alter NRG’s Plasma Gasification, which enables conversion of multiple waste streams into gas turbines, liquid fuel technologies, fuel cells and renewable hydrogen
- WastAway’s patented processing system, which works to sustainably handle municipal solid waste using a unique hydrothermal system to achieve zero landfill growth
- Replas’ sustainable solution to the major issue of plastic use increasing worldwide
- Bioelektra Group’s waste treatment technology, which unveils resource potential in waste by achieving a diversion rate of more than 96 per cent from landfill
John Gorton, Executive Director, Reed Exhibitions Australia, said Waste Expo Australia brings together pioneering companies and solutions in the waste industry that are helping to drive a greener economy.
“The event gives visitors the chance to learn about and see firsthand the latest innovations in the business of waste management,” he said.
“Exhibitors also have the opportunity to share their knowledge and educate the industry on waste-related technologies with thousands of potential customers, investors, collaborators and contacts.”
Waste Expo Australia will feature more than 70 exhibitors, with more that 50 of these companies presenting their latest innovations for the first time at a major event in Victoria this year, including Caterpillar, Bost Group, Cleanaway and Manitou Group.
Visitors at next month’s exhibition and conference will have the opportunity to hear from more than 35 of the sector’s most reputable leaders as part of the seminar program – Waste Summit. The program is the largest free-to-attend waste management conference in Australia, with 30 topical and informative sessions, offering keynote presentations, practical case studies, panel sessions and white paper discussions.
The Waste Summit provides an opportunity for attendees to learn from industry peers and stay informed across areas including policy, legislation, circular economy, waste-to-energy, solid waste management, new technologies and advancements.
Speakers include Grant Musgrove from the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR), Max Spedding from the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC), and senior representatives from the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group and the Environment Protection Authority Victoria.
Waste Expo Australia is free-to-attend and will be co-located with All-Energy Australia 2017, the largest clean energy and renewables event in Australia, as part of Australian Sustainability Week. To register, visit Waste Expo Australia.
Waste Expo Australia will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 October.
Two Australian companies are working together to tackle the small amount of plastic waste that is processed in Australia.
The Guardian reported Replas and RED Group are collecting and processing soft plastic packaging.
In Australia, 300,000 tonnes of plastic waste is collected for recycling each year, according to the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association of Australia.
About 50 percent of the waste is sent overseas for processing and approximately 20 percent is reprocessed into pellets to be made into new products to also be sent overseas.
A recent report by the World Economic Forum estimated that the weight of plastics in the oceans will match that of fish by 2050.
Mark Jacobsen, director of marketing at recycling firm Replas told The Guardian technical challenges are not the main bottleneck for plastics recycling.
“Recycling in Australia is dead in the water,” he said.
“Unless people are willing to buy products made of their own waste.”
He said the whole economy has to change. Currently people still view plastic primarily as a waste product.
As a result, the company reportedly only accepts plastic waste from organisations willing to buy back the recycled products they make.
He said large supermarket chains, such as Coles and Woolworths, are some of those leading by example.
Some city councils are also incorporating recycled plastic into their operations, he said.
Replas partnered with RED Group some years ago, a Melbourne-based company that collect soft plastics for recycling through its REDcycle program.
The program collects and processes packaging separately, before sending it onto Replas for incorporation into their products.