RMF gets $60m and new brief to tackle problem plastics

Single-use plastics like bread bags and chip packets will be targeted with an additional $60 million investment in the Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the Budget-related announcement on  Monday, saying the new funding will help develop new waste technologies that boost production of remanufactured plastic products and support the Remade in Australia campaign.

About a million tonnes of single-use plastics are used each year in Australia, with only about 12 percent recycled

In other plastic waste investment news, the CSIRO has said it will invest an initial $50 million in its Ending Plastic Waste Mission.

With contributions from the CSIRO, industry, governments and universities, the Ending Plastic Waste Mission aims to reduce 80 percent of plastic waste entering the environment by 2030 and grow Australia’s circular economy.

Both announcements were hailed by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) as big wins for Australia’s councils and communities.

Australia is facing a looming waste and recycling crisis and councils know that – sustainably funded – we can help our communities in every corner of Australia to be a part of the solution,” Cr Scott said.

“Local government is proud to be working with our communities to reduce waste and turning our ten million tonnes of rubbish collected each year into new reusable products wherever possible.”

“Councils and our communities are advocating for a new $100 million per year program that will support us to deliver [more] circular waste innovation projects in our communities,” Cr Scott said in a media release.