Product improvement Program

The Product Improvement Program is not currently open to applications. Round 1 recipients were announced in February 2019.

The Product Improvement Program grants supports the NSW resource recovery sector to respond to changes in recycling markets and meet NSW waste and resource recovery targets.

The program targets waste generated by households (yellow-lid bin) and commercial and industrial premises (mixed paper/cardboard, plastics, glass, tyres, engineered and treated timbers, e-waste and plasterboard), prioritising projects that utilise glass and mixed paper/cardboard and plastics affected by China’s National Sword policy.

The program supports co-investment in infrastructure projects that aim to

  • improve the quality of recycled materials produced by materials recycling facilities to better supply local and international markets and reduce the amount of unrecyclable material left at the end of the recycling process
  • increase the amount of waste materials recycled in NSW and divert additional waste from landfill
  • increase in NSW the capability and capacity to recover and reprocess waste materials (with priority given to mixed paper/cardboard, plastics and glass)
  • increase the use of recovered plastics, glass, and mixed paper/cardboard in the manufacture of products within NSW

Grants of $50,000 to $1 million were available to

  • materials recovery facilities
  • reprocessing and secondary reprocessing facilities
  • product manufacturers using post-consumer product in the manufacture of goods

Recipients – Round 1

Astron Plastics ($407,500)

Astron Plastics’s Ingleburn facility processes post-industrial plastic scrap into recycled resin. The facility is seeking to expand its operations to include the reprocessing of kerbside HDPE and PP from MRFs in addition to its current operations and will be able to process an additional 1,200 tonnes per annum of post-consumer plastics into recycled resin. Importantly, this project will enable Pact Group to increase the proportion of locally manufactured recycled resin, replacing imported virgin resin used in packaging manufacture.

Dunlop Flooring ($208,822)

Dunlop Flooring will purchase equipment that will help boost the recycling of foam waste materials and increase its reprocessing capacity from 5,000tpa to 10,000tpa. The new equipment will allow additional materials to be reprocessed and reduce current costs to reprocess waste foam.

Lismore City Council ($250,000)

Lismore City Council will make improvements at its MRF to reduce the cross contamination of recyclables. Improved technology on glass processing and washing will result in a greater marketability of recyclables from this regional MRF that services four Council areas across the Northern Rivers Region of NSW.

Lockhart Shire Council ($221,850)

Lockhart Shire Council's project involves using a Pugmill to reprocess crushed glass from local MRF and blending it with gravel from Councils gravel quarries into manufactured road base materials to use on its local road network.

Pelletek Enviro ($211,000)

This project aims to increase the diversion of HDPE plastics from landfill including materials impacted by China’s National Sword policy. Pelletek will purchase extruding equipment for processing granulated recycled HDPE materials and manufacturing extruded pellets for use as a feedstock in agricultural fence products. This guarantees a high-quality feedstock supply to Pelletek's customers, giving them more control over the manufacturing process to achieve efficient processing and expansion of current end markets.

Plastic Forests ($499,982)

Plastic Forests requires additional equipment at its regional facility to increase its capacity to produce resin by reprocessing distressed and stockpiled plastic films resulting from China’s National Sword policy. The installation of a new cutter compactor resin extruder, film pre-sorting station, additional storage for both unprocessed baled film and finished resin, and additional materials handling equipment, will see an additional 3,000+ tonnes of plastic film diverted from landfill. The resin will be sold locally, exported or manufactured into a range of value-added sheet products.

SUEZ Recycling & Recovery Pty Ltd, Moruya ($355,000)

SUEZ’s Moruya MRF processes domestic recyclables from Eurobodalla Council. Currently, their paper product contains 6% contamination, some paper is lost to the container line, and the landfilled residual contains up to 30% unrecovered paper. SUEZ proposes to install a ballistic separator to increase the recovery of paper, and reduce contamination in the paper and plastic outputs. This will result in higher sale prices for paper and plastic, and greater recovery of material through the process. The paper output will meet the 0.5% contamination level now required for export to China.

SUEZ Recycling & Recovery Pty Ltd, Spring Farm ($1,000,000)

SUEZ produces a mixed paper output product from incoming domestic kerbside commingled recycling, at its Spring Farm MRF. The paper product previously exported to China, contains 10% contamination. Since the new 0.5% contamination limit set by China as a result of the National Sword initiative, the mixed paper product is being sold at unsustainably low prices to vulnerable local end markets. This project involves the installation of further paper processing equipment, to reduce the contamination in the paper output from 14% to 3%, to meet quality requirements for profitable sale to local paper mills as well as export to Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Unilever ($500,000)

Unilever will accelerate local demand for Australian-sourced recycled HDPE plastic by introducing at least 25% recycled plastic, into its packaging for their home and personal care range, which is manufactured in their North Rocks factory. This will require investment of significant capital expenditure for new bottle moulds that can handle recycled plastic resin, and associated layering technology, and will allow them to achieve even greater recycled content in the future. The new recycled packaging will improve capability and increase demand within NSW for plastics recovered and recycled through households.

Segment times:
00:00 – 18:06     Introduction & update on EPA’s response to China’s National Sword policy
18:10 – 36:45     Circulate (Industrial Ecology Program)
36:46 – 50:31     Civil Construction Market Program
50:34 – 1:55:05  Product Improvement Program

Guide for Applicants and Application Forms

Before you begin, applicants must read the Guide for Applicants.

Applications for Round 1 closed on 23 August 2018.

More information

For more information contact the Waste and Recycling Infrastructure Unit by phone on (02) 9995 6920 or email infrastructure.grants@epa.nsw.gov.au.

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