Joint media release: Buy recycled to close the loop

7 November 2021

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
The Hon Trevor Evans, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management

As new figures show that business investment in recycling is breaking all expectation, Australians are being urged to ‘buy recycled’ during National Recycling week (Nov 8-14).

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the Morrison Government’s planned $600 million Recycling Modernisation Fund is now on track to exceed $800 million due to increased business investment, and that it is time for consumers and industry to help ‘close the loop’ by looking for goods that contain recycled content.

“Times are changing and looking for recycled content in the products and packaging we buy will soon be as routine as our use of the recycling bin today,” Minister Ley said.

“We are seeing recycled materials turned into mayonnaise jars, coffee capsules, credit cards and drink bottles, roads made out of recycled tyres and recycling bins made out of recycled material. 

“Recycling week is a chance to reward those companies that are stepping up to understand the range of sustainable options that are emerging in the market. 

“Through the Recycling Modernisation Fund, our recycling legislation and through the Morrison Government’s world leading bans on the export of waste plastic, glass, paper and tyres we are leading an unprecedented transformation of recycling in Australia.”

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction Trevor Evans said that RMF was established with a $190 million Commonwealth investment to be matched by states and territories, and industry. 

“With many more projects still to announce business has already invested $383 million,” Assistant Minister Evans said.

“Not only are we seeing investment in new plants, we are seeing a step up to new technologies that will create a wider range of recycling options for new products.

“That means the waste previously exported or sent to landfill can be used across a wider range of products and packaging.

“Already companies are making decisions that give consumers the opportunity to choose sustainable options and National Recycling Week is a good opportunity to recognise those efforts.”

Recent company initiatives

  • Goodman Fielder making their Praise Mayonnaise and Aioli bottles and jars from 100% recycled plastic
  • BOQ rolling out Australia’s first debit card made from recycled plastic. Over the next three years, BOQ expects to save 3,500 kg of PVC from landfill
  • Nestlé Starbucks have introduced coffee capsules made using 80% recycled aluminum across the entire retail range
  • BWS and Dan Murphy’s have launched a recycling scheme to turn beer can clips back into themselves. Returned clips will be collected, converted to resin and remade   
  • Tip Top phasing out the plastic bread bag clips which are used to close the top of bread bags. The new cardboard versions are made from 100 per cent recycled cardboard and are recyclable
  • Coca-Cola and Asahi committing to purchase about 13,000 tonnes of recycled plastic resin from Australia to turn into PET bottles for soft drinks and water
  • Tyre-maker Continental joining with fibre specialist OTIZ to use reprocessed polyester from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles to construct the carcass of auto tyres
  • Blu Print creating the Enviro 80 satchel – a courier bag made from up to 80 per cent recycled, post-consumer waste plastic. For every 100,000 satchels, 2464 kilograms of plastic will be diverted from landfill and reused.

** As part of National Recycling Week the Government has released new videos on products made from recycled content including boardwalks, office furniture and asphalt and new product stewardship schemes. The Australian Sporting Goods Association has developed TreadyLightly for used sports shoes, and PlanetArk is trialing PodCycle for used coffee capsules. Further information on the Recycling Modernisation Fund can be found here