More jobs and less waste will be the key outcomes of a new Circular Economy Innovation Network launched today by the NSW Government.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the Network, known as NSW Circular, will help boost manufacturing jobs in regional NSW as the State moves away from the traditional ‘take, make and dispose’ model.
“With China no longer accepting our recycled waste, our manufacturing industry must evolve. This is our chance to bring more jobs back to our own backyard, particularly in the Special Activation Precincts in regional NSW,” Mr Stokes said.
“This isn’t just the right thing to do for the environment; it makes good economic sense – there are significant jobs and growth opportunities for existing and new businesses across NSW.
“Three pilot projects are already underway through the Network that aim to create new supply chains, turn trash into valuable products and materials for manufacturing and divert waste from landfill.”
The Network, funded through the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, brings together industry, government, local councils, researchers and the community, and will be led by Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at UNSW Australia.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said NSW Circular will complement other important initiatives already in development, including the Government’s 20-Year Waste Strategy and Plastics Plan.
“There is a lot of activity in this space, but to date it has lacked a degree of coordination and connectivity,” Mr Kean said.
“This new network will help us develop the programs we need to increase recycling and create a circular economy.”