The state government of Victoria, Australia has announced a new A$34.9m (£19.2m) funding package for recycling reform to help reduce plastic pollution.
Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the new funding is intended to help create a more stable and productive recycling sector, while improving the quality of recycled materials and developing new markets for recycled materials to be processed.
The package includes $14.3m (£7.9m) Recycling Industry Development Fund, which targets secondary processing infrastructure for priority materials such as paper, cardboard and plastics. It is expected to enhance domestic remanufacturing capabilities of the region.
Additionally, the package includes $13.8m ($7.6m) programme, which will provide incentives for new participants to in the Victorian recycling market. It will help diversify the sector and leading to more investment in equipment and infrastructure upgrades.
In addition to providing support to Victorian councils to help improve business performance, the package will enable extension of education programs to improve understanding of what can and cannot be recycled, thus helping in reducing the contamination of kerbside recycling.
Recycling services will also be reviewed by the Essential Services Commission in Victoria to assess whether the sector should be regulated as an essential service such as water and energy sectors.
A further review of the Landfill Levy will also be carried out considering the current and future effectiveness as an economic instrument for influencing waste management practices.
D’Ambrosio noted: “Managing recycling and waste is a global problem and we need to act now to help the industry continue its transition following China’s import bans.
“It’s more important than ever to minimise the amount of waste we produce and ensure we’re recycling as many items as possible – and these new initiatives are an important step in planning for the future of the waste and recycling industry.”
The ministry said in a statement: “This latest package builds on the strong foundations of the $37 million Recycling Industry Strategic Plan, released in July 2018 – bringing this government’s investment in the waste and resource recovery industry to more than $135 million.”