A new innovation network launched by the NSW government will bring together government, industry and researchers in a drive to create a circular economy.
The Circular Economy Innovation Network, or NSW Circular, was launched by NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes this month.
NSW Circular will be hosted by the University of New South Wales and led by Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology at the university.
The innovation network will be funded through the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer and will work towards enhancing sustainability and creating a circular economy.
Through a series of workshops, it will bring together stakeholders across the industry, government, local councils, research organisations and the community.
Mr Stokes said there was need for manufacturing to evolve in the post-China Sword era.
“With China no longer accepting our recycled waste, our manufacturing industry must evolve,” he said.
“This is our chance to bring more jobs back to our own backyard, particularly in the Special Activation Precincts in regional NSW.”
On top of workshops for stakeholders, the network will also provide tools and resources to help solve problems, encourage innovation and deliver socio-economic benefits, such as employment.
There are currently three pilot projects underway to divert waste from landfills and create new supply chains to turn waste into materials for manufacturing and valuable products.
Creating new solutions
Professor Sahajwalla is looking forward to working with stakeholders to ensure that NSW leads the way in this area.
“By working with and bringing together the many groups wanting better waste and recycling outcomes, which importantly includes those involved in materials recycling science, we are creating new solutions and a circular economy where we reuse and keep materials in use for as long as possible,” she said in a statement.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said NSW Circular will complement other government initiatives, such as 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,” he said in a statement.
“This new network will help us develop the programs we need to increase recycling and create a circular economy.”
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