Circular Plastics Program
Circular Plastics Round 1 grants are now closed.
Grant Fund: Circular Materials Fund
Grant program: Circular Plastics
Amounts: $1.25 million was awarded under Round 1. Funding will be available in future rounds.
Eligible applicants: Small to medium manufacturers with fewer than 200 full-time equivalent staff. Businesses must be involved at the ‘make’ phase of the product lifecycle which is the initial manufacturing phase of a product.
Application process: Applications shortlisted from the EOI Stage were invited to participate in Stage 2 – Detailed Application. An independent Technical Review Committee recommended projects that should be awarded funding.
Contact: Waste and Recycling Infrastructure Unit by email at email@example.com
The Circular Plastics Program provides new grant funding opportunities under the $10 million Circular Materials Fund (CMF). The CMF was created to support businesses in the transition to better plastic products and increase the recycling rate of plastics in NSW. This transition is a key action of the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 and NSW Plastics Action Plan. The objectives of the CMF are to:
- reduce the amount of virgin plastic used
- reduce the amount of hard-to-recycle plastics used
- increase the amount of recycled plastic in products
- catalyse partnerships between producers, end users and the resource recovery sector.
A total of $5 million was available under Round 1. Funding was available through two streams:
Funding cap per project
1. Sole applicant
$100,000 – $500,000
2. Collaborative partnerships
$250,000 – $750,000
Further information about the requirements under the different streams is available in the Guidelines for Applicants: Circular Plastics Program Round 1 (PDF 611KB).
Lessons learned from the EOI process and Round 1 will inform the design of future funding rounds. Further details are available in the Future Funding Opportunities below.
Round 1 of CPP was conducted in two stages with the Expression of Interest stage closing on 17 November 2022 and the Detailed Application stage closing on 16 March 2023. All applications were received through the SmartyGrants platform.
Future funding opportunities
Further funding will be offered through the Circular Plastics Program following assessment and evaluation of Round 1 projects. Priorities for future funding rounds will be informed by lessons learned from Round 1. Applications for future grant funding will not be restricted to organisations that have applied for or received funding under Round 1.
The EPA invites interested parties to contact the Waste and Recycling Infrastructure team to discuss future proposals for Round 2 of the Circular Plastics program. This may include:
- discussing your project needs and how they align with the EPA’s goals and priorities
- clarifying eligibility of projects or project activities
- determining whether your project is more appropriate for Stream 1 or Stream 2 funding.
Round 1 grant recipients
Resero Pty Ltd
Stream 1 – Sole applicant – $500,000
Resero’s RETHINK project will build an injection moulding facility at their Minto site to develop, manufacture and distribute school chairs made from recycled polypropylene (PP). The project will help to avoid 380 tonnes of virgin PP and set up a take-back system to recover chairs at the end of their usable life. As part of the project’s design with the takeback scheme for end-of-life plastic chairs, collection, and processing, this will also grow the supply & logistics involved in the circular economy.
State Asphalts NSW
Stream 2 – Collaborative partnership – $750,000
Approximately 7,000 tonnes of combustible cladding in NSW will be destined for landfill after the material was banned in 2018. As this cladding is decommissioned and the aluminium is recovered, the end-markets for the remaining mineral-filled and chemical compounded plastic are very limited. State Asphalts NSW, in partnership with the University of NSW, PanelCycle and Primaplas will develop state-of-the-art technologies to characterise the remaining materials, process the recyclate and create end markets for 800 tonnes of ACP-derived polyethylene per year. State Asphalts NSW will build a plastics recycling plant to wash, granulate, extrude and pelletise the hard-to-recycle plastics at their Prestons site.
NSW generates approximately 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year and only approximately 10% of that is recycled. The remaining 90% ends up in landfill or the natural environment, with a small proportion used to create refuse derived fuel. This represents a significant loss of materials from the productive economy.
The NSW Government identified this issue and has set targets under the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 and the NSW Plastics Action Plan including to triple the recycling rate of plastics by 2030.
This issue isn’t unique to NSW. CSIRO’s National Circular Economy Roadmap identified a lack of market demand for products made from recycled materials as a key challenge in the transition to a circular economy for plastics.
The Plastics Plan outlines a comprehensive suite of actions to address plastic at all stages of its lifecycle including to accelerate the transition to better plastic products through the $10 million Circular Materials Fund.
An online information session was held at 10:30am on 11 October 2022.