Why advanced recycling matters – Australia

Posted on August 23, 2022 by DrRossH in Plastic Recycling


“The AFGC has been awarded a grant from the government and we’re creating the national plastics recycling scheme to recycle a targeted 190,000 tonnes of soft plastics,” said Cosier. “If those who aren’t aware, a third of all plastic packaging is soft plastics, and it has a recycling rate of about six per cent so it’s a really big problem. But what we want to do is make sure we create a scheme that has a market. Today, we’re going to hear from the whole supply chain.”

He said that with mechanical recycling there has been success stories such as PET milk bottles being recycled back into their original application. However, once you come across coloured plastics and multilayer structures – and soft plastics come into this category too – it becomes more difficult. 

“Usually, the best that can be done is basically down cycle,” he said. “You can put it into a durable application – a bollard or something like that. And you can use it one more time. But what we really want is to keep using it over and over again. This is where advanced recycling can really play a role.”

“The barrier for this (recycling more) is obvious – we don’t have collection at scale; we don’t have processing at scale; and we don’t have recycling at scale to close the loop in Australia. In summary, we really want to use advanced recycled material; we know it’s technically possible, but we just can’t get enough of it, fast enough.”