NSW innovation network for circular economy

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.

Rob Stokes

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.

Professor Veena Sahajwalla

“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.”

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

One thought on “NSW innovation network for circular economy

  1. It is to be hoped the this is a genuine attempt at change. The last $47 million the NSW Government put into recycling was no more than an injection into broken local government and waste management partnered system.

    That amount of money could have built or contributed to real infrastructure to remanufacture plastics.

    The NSW Government still has another $700 captured in levies – half of this injected into new industries could create jobs and industry in regional NSW as well as the big three towns.

    Send a few EPA staff to look a the real change happening in Wales – UK – see how real change can happen – now 2nd best domestic recycler in the world – I would be happy to do the introductions.

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required