Plastic Police® set to receive $150k Boost from Federal Government
The Federal Government has committed $3m to support a number of Australian recycling education and resource recovery projects, including $150k for the Hunter Region’s Plastic Police® program.
The funding, announced Friday 3 May 2019 (view media release), is part of the Federal Government’s $203m package to increase recycling and reduce waste, protect Australia’s unique threatened species and restore our waterways and coasts, and will provide essential resources and support to drive the delivery of the 2025 National Packaging Targets.
Plastic Police® is a local community engagement program to collect, recycle and reuse soft plastics, keeping it out of landfill and out of the environment. The program, developed by Cross Connections Consulting, works with businesses and councils to collect soft plastics and turn it into new and useful products, including asphalt and outdoor products.
The Plastic Police® program is currently operating a regional project in the NSW’s Hunter and Central Coast Regions*. The program is set to receive Federal funding of $150k to explore opportunities for further model development, refinement and expansion, including deployment into other regions, with support from the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO).
Plastic Police® founder, Samantha Cross, said “We are extremely excited and proud that the program’s potential to expand and scale has been recognised at the Federal level and we will have further support to take the innovative Plastic Police® model to the next level. This program provides organisations with the opportunity to reduce soft plastic waste and play an active role in closing the loop to create social, economic and environmental outcomes within communities.”
“We would like to thank APCO for their ongoing support of the program and acknowledge the many organisations, and their engaged employees and champions, that are currently participating in the program. We recognise the efforts of the individuals and organisations who have been part of our journey to date, and who have contributed to the development and success of the program over the past four years.” Samantha said.
“We all have a role to play to progress the circular economy in Australia, and the Plastic Police® program empowers organisations and wider communities to take action. Each and every one of us can make a difference.” Samantha said
In addition to the Plastic Police® Program, the National Consumer Education Program, Circular Economy Hub and the Remote and Regional Waste Collection Partnership is also set to receive funding support.
The National Consumer Education Program (NCEP) has been allocated $1.1m to create a consistent national approach to consumer education on reducing, reusing and recycling packaging over the next four years.
A further $1.6m will support the development of a Circular Economy Hub, a new online platform and marketplace developed by Planet Ark Environmental Foundation and designed to help drive innovation in the transition to a circular economy in Australia.
A further $150k will also be provided to the Remote and Regional Waste Collection Partnership, a project aiming to support governments and communities address the challenges of waste and resource recovery in remote and regional areas.
*The Plastic Police® program is currently operating a regional project in the NSW’s Hunter and Central Coast Regions with support from the NSW EPA as part of the Waste Less Recycle More Initiative funded by the Waste Levy.