Rolling Out Nation-First Recycling Reform

28 September 2022

Victorian households will be able to recycle everything from soft plastics to used pizza boxes in the coming years, as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s massive transformation of Victoria’s recycling systems.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Action Lily D’Ambrosio today announced Australian-first changes to recycling that will mean more things can be recycled in the four household bins rolled out across the state by 2030.

By making recycling consistent throughout Victoria with four bins – purple for glass, green for food and garden organics, yellow for mixed recyclables and red for household rubbish - the Labor Government is supporting households to easily sort waste and recycling and reduce landfill.

In the coming years, the four bins will be able to recycle soft plastics such as plastic bags and wrappers and soiled food containers, in line community need and the consultation with industry.

The Labor Government today also announced $1 million in funding for a new facility that will turn hard-to-recycle materials like beverage cartons and coffee cups into sustainable building products and $175,000 for a facility to process oversized green waste into provide organic, carbon rich, soil additives for the farming industry.

The Government’s $114 million in grant investment to improve the waste and recycling sector has unlocked an additional $354 million in investment since 2015, including $41 million in Federal funding.

So far, the funding has created 226 jobs with a further 500 jobs expected by 2025 and delivered almost 1,745,000 tonnes of new waste and resource recovery capacity, with a further 870,000 tonnes expected by 2025.

The Government is on-track to divert up to 80 percent of waste by 2030, due in part to the four bin system, the roll-out of the container deposit scheme and the upcoming ban on single use plastics from February next year.

Plastic pollution will be reduced by the Government’s statewide ban on a range of single-use plastics, including straws, cutlery, drink stirrers, cotton bud sticks and expanded polystyrene food and drink containers from 1 February 2023. Single-use plastic items make up about one third of the volume of Victoria’s litter.

Next year, the Labor Government will also launch Victoria’s container deposit scheme, putting money back into Victorians’ pockets and cutting our state’s litter by up to half.

These milestones are all part of the Government’s landmark $515 million investment to deliver the biggest transformation and reform of Victoria’s waste and recycling system in the state’s history.

Victorians can have their say on how the new four-stream system will work by visiting Engage Victoria between now and the 26 October 2022.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“Whether through household recycling, the container deposit scheme or banning single use plastics, we are reducing waste, creating jobs and building new economy that is better for the planet.”

“We’re the first state in Australia to roll-out the same bins to every household, and the first to include soft plastics and pizza boxes in those bins – leading the way as we divert 80 per cent of waste from landfill by 2030.”

Circular Economy Infrastructure Fund projects

Upcycled Building Materials Australia Pty Ltd will receive $1 million in Victorian government funding for a new saveBOARD facility in Campbellfield. The facility will recycle liquid paperboard beverage containers, coffee cups, soft plastics and other used packaging into sustainable building products. The $4.9 million facility is expected to process up to 4,000 tonnes of materials each year and support 30 construction jobs and 12 ongoing positions.

Manningtree Corporation Pty Ltd will receive $175,000 in Victorian government funding to install a portable biochar unit at its Elmore Compost and Organics facility to thermally process oversized green waste that would otherwise be disposed of or burnt, and produce biochar, wood vinegar, tar and liquid biochar. These products will provide organic, carbon rich, soil additives for the farming industry. The $700,000 project is expected to process over 14,000 tonnes of organic waste each year and support 22 construction jobs and 8 ongoing positions.

Reviewed 28 September 2022

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