$20m to improve plastic and tyre processing in WA

$20m to improve plastic and tyre processing in WA

The Western Australian Government has committed $20 million to boost capacity for local processing of waste plastic and tyres.

$15 million dollars in grant funding will be provided to support local processing of plastics and tyres and the development of infrastructure in the north of the State.  Access will also be provided to industrial zoned land valued at $5 million for processing infrastructure.

The state government funding that was announced on Tuesday 7 July will need to be matched or exceeded by industry investment meaning that total combined investment in local processing is likely to be greater than $60 million.

The WA government is calling for grant applications from organisations to support new processing infrastructure, including projects in regional and remote Western Australia.

WA grants will be considered for projects that can help in the domestic processing of plastics and whole tyres currently collected in Western Australia.

Francis Logan, WA Acting Environment Minister said the state knows it can deliver three times more jobs when WA recycles better.

“Analysis from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that in WA approximately 12,500 tonnes of plastics and 7,000 tonnes of tyres would be captured as result of the export ban on certain wastes. This represents a huge opportunity for industry in WA,” Logan said.

“As a State Government moving towards a circular economy we are seeking expressions of interest from innovative and entrepreneurial organisations to help us grow local processing capacity for waste and ensure these valuable materials are reprocessed locally.”

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) welcomes the WA government’s commitment to boost local processing capacity for waste plastics and tyres.

WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said to maximise investments and positively build local remanufacturing and reprocessing, WA requires several key elements that are currently lacking in the state.

“As well as fast tracking planning approval for successful facilities, the WA government needs to go further than the welcome funding and work with industry to urgently develop end markets for reprocessed and remanufactured materials,” Sloan said.

“WA needs a robust regulatory and legislative framework that will underpin circularity, it needs a new modernised regulatory framework that guides the process by which a ‘waste’ becomes a ‘resource’, and it needs to mandate the procurement of recycled material across all government projects now – economically viable projects that not only rely on capital investment but ongoing income.”

Sloan said the time is now to develop frameworks that will support the establishment of viable on-shore reprocessing, remanufacturing, and end markets for post-consumer recyclate.

“WA is heavily reliant on exporting material to overseas markets and with those markets being closed soon, it is vital that WA accelerates work to develop a viable industry which will lead to local jobs in WA, and who can argue against that?,” she said.

The announcement follows the March 2020 Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, which confirmed a timetable for phasing out waste exports and building domestic infrastructure to support reuse and recycling.

“Proposals for economically viable projects that utilise best-practice methodology, know-how and technology, achieve value for money and maximise industry financial contributions are welcomed,” the government said in a statement.

Applications close at 9am AWST, August 17, 2020.

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