Glass bottle remnants or old plastic bags could soon become railway sleepers or stronger, lighter, more fire resistant building material.
The Andrews Labor Government and Australia Packaging Covenant (APC) are funding new partnerships between industry and universities to find uses for materials that can’t easily be recycled.
Broken glass and soft plastics like shopping bags and lolly wrappers are hard to recycle, so the Labor Government has put Victoria’s best researchers on the job to find ways of keeping them out of landfill.
Seven projects from five Victorian universities and industry partners will share in more than $640,000 in funding to develop and expand markets for recovered glass fines and flexible plastics by creating high-value products.
Around 257,000 tonnes of glass waste is generated each year in Victoria – 24 per cent of that ends up in landfill.
In the 2014/15 financial year, around 170,000 tonnes of flexible plastic waste was generated in Victoria with only 16,000 tonnes recovered for reprocessing.
These projects will support research to investigate opportunities for recovered materials and highlight the economic and environmental benefits of remanufacturing them into new products.
Glass fines and flexible plastics are priority materials in the Victorian Market Development Strategy for Recovered Resources, which aims to stimulate the economy and create new jobs, as well as keeping waste out of landfill by developing markets for useful new products made from recycled materials.
The successful projects are:
- Melbourne University and PrefabAus
- Monash University and PQ Australia
- Monash University and Integrated Recycling
- RMIT and Alex Fraser Group and Mark Douglas Design
- Swinburne University of Technology and Alex Fraser Group
- Swinburne University of Technology and Polytrade
- Victoria University and Polytrade, Regina Glass, Replas.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“We need to create stronger markets for recycled materials to ensure that we get the most value from our recovered resources.”
“By investing in research and these types of partnerships, we can identify and overcome existing barriers to the recovery and use of these materials.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020