WA EOI a step towards boosting local reprocessing

7 July 2020

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) welcomes the WA government’s commitment to boost local processing capacity for waste plastics and tyres.

The WA government announced today that it will make available funding of up to $15 million and $5 million of industrial land to improve local plastic and tyre processing across the state to process these materials, which will be restricted by the COAG waste export bans. Projects with regional significance for banned materials are encouraged and proponents must match funds provided by the state, which will be matched by the federal government.

“WMRR congratulates the WA government for taking swift action in matching the Commonwealth’s commitment with new funds. WA is in a unique position, given its geographical location; as such, the growth of domestic remanufacturing and reprocessing capacity is both welcome and vitally necessary, and must be used to drive the positive impacts required on the ground quickly,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.

“To maximise investments and positively build local remanufacturing and reprocessing, WA requires several key elements that are currently lacking in WA,” Ms Sloan added.

“As well as fast tracking planning approval for successful facilities, the WA government needs to go further than the welcome funding and work with industry to urgently develop end markets for reprocessed and remanufactured materials. WA needs a robust regulatory and legislative framework that will underpin circularity, it needs a new modernised regulatory framework that guides the process by which a ‘waste’ becomes a ‘resource’, and it needs to mandate the procurement of recycled material across all government projects now - economically viable projects that not only rely on capital investment but ongoing income!

“The waste and resource recovery sector is one in which viable markets can flourish under the right policy and regulatory settings and with WA currently undergoing long overdue legislative reforms as part of its Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy, the time is now to develop frameworks that will support the establishment of viable on-shore reprocessing, remanufacturing, and end markets for post-consumer recyclate,” Ms Sloan said.  

“WA is heavily reliant on exporting material to overseas markets and with those markets being closed soon, it is vital that WA accelerates work to develop a viable industry which will lead to local jobs in WA, and who can argue against that?”