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December 13, 2021updated 24 Dec 2021 5:46am

Australia launches recycling app to help reduce landfill waste

The country aims to make 70% of its plastic packaging recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The Australian Government has launched an app to help people better sort their recycling and ensure less plastic waste is sent to landfill.

Named Recycle Mate, the free mobile app is designed to identify products and inform consumers of where they can be recycled.

The app was previously made available in an earlier form in New South Wales in 2019.

The Morrison Government said it was inviting ‘tech-savvy waste warriors’ to help create Australia’s largest catalogue of products.

Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley said: “This app is already smart, but like the rest of the recycling sector, we want to turbocharge it and make it smarter.

“Recycle Mate uses cutting-edge photo recognition and artificial intelligence technology to identify a product and determine the most suitable kerbside bin or disposal location for it.

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“Every time a photo is uploaded to the app, it recognises more and gets smarter, meaning less confusion for users.

“The beauty of this app lies in its simplicity – anyone can use it – but ultimately the outcome will be less contamination of recyclable products in recycling bins, a larger volume of recoverable items heading to resource recovery centres and less waste in landfill.”

Consulting firm ACOR and environment-firm Adaptation developed the app with AUS$2m ($1.42m) of funding given through the Morrison Government’s Environment Restoration Fund.

Brisbane City Council served as the pilot site for the app.

Australia has pledged to recycle or compost 70% of its plastic packaging by 2025.

In June, Western Australia’s state government announced plans to fully implement a ban on single-use plastics by 2023.

The announcement was part of the government’s plan to bring its two-phase Plan for Plastics four years ahead of schedule.

The plan’s first phase will ban a range of single-use items, including bowls, cups, plates, cutlery, stirrers and straws, by the end of this year.

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