Australia is at the forefront of a new age in sustainable innovation – the age of the circular economy. A circular economy is a resource-conserving model designed to eliminate waste through continuous use of resources. Australia has embraced this model wholeheartedly, with an emphasis on the robust recycling of plastic ‘waste’.
The process of plastic recycling in Australia involves an intricate journey from waste to resource. Discarded plastic is collected, sorted, cleaned, and then subjected to recycling processes (mechanical and/or advanced recycling methods).
The success of plastic recycling in Australia is significantly influenced by recycling policies. These policies can also have potential impacts on local recycling rates and public education on sustainable waste management practices.
Australian recycled plastics are starting to replace traditionally sourced materials in manufacturing, leading to a reduction in overseas material. This transformation of imports is a testament to the potential of Australian sourced recycled plastics and their role in reshaping global trade. For advanced recycling success, there are a few barriers to overcome including pricing strategies (e.g. advanced recycled resins are considerably more expensive than virgin materials) and the complexities in commissioning one of these facilities (i.e. they are very expensive). For mechanical recycling success, there is a widespread scepticism in the industry on its application (many believe that mechanically recycled plastics are not suitable to be incorporated into food packaging products). Therefore, for a company to be able to recycle and manufacture Australian sourced recycled plastics into a finished product overseas, one needs to have a vertically integrated supply chain to ensure that the material stays within the same supply chain, from recycler to manufacturer to product distributor (eliminating the middleman).
Environmental benefits of using recycled plastics are manifold. The process conserves natural resources, reduces energy consumption compared to new plastic production, and mitigates the volume of waste that ends up in landfills or oceans. This implementation of sustainable practices contributes positively to Australia’s role in global sustainability.
But where does all this recycled plastic end up? Recycled plastic finds its way into a variety of products, from packaging materials and construction supplies to clothing and more. One innovative example is our brand, Thinkpac, which is making strides in the industry with bin liners made from Australian sourced recycled plastics.
In a market dominated by bin liners made with overseas materials, Thinkpac stands out with a commitment to sustainability and local resource use. The production of bin liners from Australian recycled plastics is a significant step in reducing reliance on overseas material and encouraging a circular economy.
The bin liners imported by Thinkpac are a testament to the potential of recycled materials and the transformative effect they can have on the products we use every day. This kind of innovation drives the demand for recycled plastic, ensuring its continual use and supporting the principles of a circular economy.
In conclusion, the journey of Australian recycled plastics, from waste collection to transformation into usable products, forms a significant part of the country’s contribution to the circular economy. In revolutionizing imports and encouraging local resource use, Australia is leading the charge in sustainable practices and inspiring a global shift towards a more environmentally conscious future.