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March 25, 2022

Australia invests to support infinite plastic recycling technology

Samsara’s technology uses a modified enzyme to quickly degrade plastic down to small molecules.

The Government of Australia has announced an investment to support ‘infinite’ plastic recycling technology.

Through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s (CEFC) Clean Energy Innovation Fund, the government will invest A$1.1m ($826,430) in environmental technology company Samsara.

Samsara is working with the Australian National University on a depolymerisation process that aims to enable plastic to be recycled infinitely.

Samsara’s technology uses a modified enzyme to rapidly degrade plastic down to small molecules, preventing recycled plastics materials from losing their structural integrity as virgin plastic.

The recycled plastic can be reused in new products, including food-grade plastics or polyester.

The investment is part of Samsara’s A$6m capital raising efforts and the company will use the investment to expedite the development of this technology.

Australian Environment Minister Sussan Ley said: “The time to act on problem plastics is now.

“From plastic bottles to polyester in clothing, this Government is committed to keeping harmful plastics out of our oceans and waterways while creating jobs and boosting the economy.”

Waste Reduction and Environmental Management assistant minister Trevor Evans said: “I commend the innovation and collaboration that Samsara has shown in developing this recycling technology and providing real solutions to industry.

“Advanced recycling supports our food and manufacturing industry by providing feedstock for food-grade recycled packaging, which in turn supports jobs and sustainability.”

Samsara represents CEFC’s 36th investment since signing the New South Wales (NSW) energy and emissions reduction agreement in January 2020.

The corporation has so far invested A$843m in NSW during this period.

Earlier this week, the Australian Government announced a A$60m funding stream to help process ‘problematic’ plastic crisp packets and bread bags.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the investment, which takes the government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund to a total of A$250m.

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