NSW strategies signal positive shift in material management

15 June 2021

Plastics, food and organic waste, biogas, and sustainable material management are some of the highlights of the NSW government’s highly anticipated Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 - stage one (1) - or the 20-year strategy as industry knows it - and NSW Plastics Action Plan that were released on the weekend.

Backed by state government funding to the tune of $356 million over five (5) years, the strategies have been welcomed by industry for their commitment to circularity as evidenced by circular design thinking and the significant shift in language towards materials, the intent to design out materials, clear and demonstrated commitment to net zero, and for giving new and real impetus to government procurement of recycled materials.

“WMRR commends the government for embracing the actions needed for NSW to transition to a true circular economy, including a shift towards material management that places strong emphasis on sustainable design. The plastics plan is by far one of the strongest strategies we have in the country as it outlines a comprehensive suite of actions to address these materials at all points of their lifecycles,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.

“There is also an understanding that FOGO is a key pathway to drive greater landfill diversion and it is pleasing to see that the government not only intends to mandate FOGO, but will back this move with funding, both of which provide certainty as well as support for industry and local government.

“Further, NSW is the first state to develop linkages between its waste and resource recovery, and net zero targets and in doing so, the government has been able to uncover the synergies within the supply chain, which if developed and implemented appropriately, will drive a successful integrated material management system.

“WMRR appreciates that this is only stage one (1) of the strategy that will take NSW to 2027 and that further details will need to be worked out. However, it is a strong start and we look forward to continued engagement with the government to ensure that these plans and policies stand the greatest chance of success,” Ms Sloan concluded.

Both strategies can be found here; the government has also released a guide to future infrastructure needs which can be found here.