The Government of Australia has announced a $20m grant to accelerate the growth of the domestic plastic recycling industry.
It will be provided through Round 8 of the government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grants programme.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the funding supports the government’s plan to set up a timeline to impose a ban on the export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres.
Each year, 103kg of plastic waste is generated per person in Australia, according to recent data. Of this, only 12% is recycled and is done so ‘mostly overseas’.
Morrison said: “We are committed to protecting our nation’s environment, while also building our capacity to turn recycling into products that people want and need.
“By engaging industry and researchers, we can make sure we’re seeing these changes introduced in a way that cuts costs for businesses and ultimately even creates jobs.”
Companies are required to apply for Round 8 by 24 September to access the funding.
Australia industry, science and technology minister Karen Andrews has said that the investment will create jobs, while reducing global plastic pollution.
Andrews added: “This funding will strengthen Australia’s recycling industry and help us achieve higher recycling rates.
“Boosting our onshore plastic recycling industry has the potential to create over three times as many jobs as exporting our plastic waste, ensuring a more sustainable and prosperous future.”