The Victorian Circular Economy Policy, which will establish goals for the Victorian waste and resource recovery system to transition to a circular economy, has opened for public comment.
A 10-year action plan outlining how the Victorian Government will work with businesses and community to deliver the policy’s goals will also be established.
Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the Circular Economy Policy would deliver new opportunities for industry and more jobs for Victorians.
“We’re transforming the way we think about waste and resource recovery – developing a circular economy will deliver better environmental, social and economic results for Victoria,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“Through the policy, Victoria will transition from the traditional linear model of consumption to a circular model that continually seeks to minimise the use of natural resources.”
The public now have an opportunity to comment on the policy issues paper, with a draft policy set to be released in September.
“The draft policy will outline a suite of specific proposals for how we can improve material use throughout the economy,” the paper reads.
“This could include regulations, incentive programs, innovation support and/or education. The final circular economy policy will draw together this consultation and research and analysis.”
The circular economy policy will establish goals and targets, in addition to a strong performance framework to measure, monitor and publicly report on progress.
“While these goals are still to be set, there will be many factors that will need to be measured and tracked, such as materials used for each unit of economic output, waste generation per person, energy generated from waste and reduction in stockpiles of recyclable material,” the paper reads.
The paper references multiple case studies including the use of recycled materials in public infrastructure and food waste reduction.
“Victoria can leverage additional benefits from the pipeline of public infrastructure projects. Approximately 3.9 million tonnes of recovered material are already used in road and other construction in Victoria, and there is scope to use more recycled materials in the construction of our public infrastructure,” the paper reads.
“There is significant scope to reduce food waste and ensure more is recovered in Australia’s leading food and agriculture state. Only 10 per cent of food waste generated by households and businesses is currently recovered. That means over 887,000 tonnes of food waste ends up in Victorian landfills each year and the water and energy required to produce and transport it is wasted.”
Ms D’Ambrosio said the policy responds to global recycling challenges, and will build on the government’s continued investment in waste and resource recovery initiatives.
“This latest package builds on the $37 million Recycling Industry Strategic Plan – bringing the state government’s investment in the waste and resource recovery industry to more than $135 million,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“I encourage Victorians to have their say on this important issue, as we work towards a final policy in 2020.”
The Circular Economy Policy issues paper is open for consultation until 2 August.