October 15, 2019
A collaborative new innovation network was launched this week by the NSW government in an effort to drive circular economy initiatives in the state.
The Circular Economy Innovation Network, or 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 network was launched by Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes, who said it would be critical to developing the local waste management and recycling industry.
“With China no longer accepting our recycled waste, our manufacturing industry must evolve,” Mr Stokes said in a statement.
“This is our chance to bring more jobs back to our own backyard, particularly in the Special Activation Precincts in regional NSW.”
The innovation network will be funded through the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer and will work towards accelerating the transition towards a circular economy. Through a series of workshops, it will bring together stakeholders across the industry, government, local councils, research organisations and the community.
It will also provide a range of tools and resources to encourage innovation and deliver projects with tangible socio-economic benefits, with a special emphasis on jobs. So far, there are three pilot projects underway, each of which aims to divert waste materials from landfill and turn these resources into new products.
Project lead and Planet Ark ambassador Professor Veena Sahajwalla said she was looking forward to working with a wide range of stakeholders to provide new solutions to old problems.
“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,” Professor Sahajwalla told EcoVoice.
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Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.