Circular economy network to spur growth in local manufacturing

The NSW Circular network was launched on October 9 by Planning and Public Space Minister, Rob Stokes.

Housed at UNSW, the Circular Economy Innovation Network aims to grow manufacturing jobs in the re-use of materials.

“With China no longer accepting our recycled waste, our manufacturing industry must evolve. This is our chance to bring more jobs back to our own backyard, particularly in the Special Activation Precincts in regional NSW,” said Stokes.

To date, according to Stokes, there are projects that are already seeking to reshape the linear economy – take, make, and dispose – into a circular economy where new materials are not needed to be extracted from the environment.

“Pilot projects are already underway through the Network that aim to create new supply chains, turn trash into valuable products and materials for manufacturing and divert waste from landfill,” said Stokes.

Led by Scientia Professor, Veena Sahajwalla, director of the Centre for Sustainable materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at UNSW, NSW Circular aims to bring together a multiplicity of stakeholders from industry, government, and academia.

“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,” said Sahajwalla.

“I look forward to working with our new partners in the business community, as well as with research colleagues from across the state, to ensure that NSW leads the way in adopting sustainable practices, goods and services.”