Material and Energy valorisation of waste in a Circular Economy

Australia: initiatives for adoption of the circular economy


A few reports have lately been published in Australia that are considering various aspects of a move towards greater adoption of circular economy principles.

Earlier this year KPMG put out a report which began to consider the economic benefits of a transition to a circular economy in Australia. This work suggests that even without significant technological shifts, adoption of current approaches to CE principles can have a real economic benefit. Another analysis focussing on NSW, prepared by a body funded by the state, also includes analyses of environmental value of CE adoption.

The Australian government has also released its ‘Modern Manufacturing Strategy’. One of the ‘National Priorities’ of this strategy is the ‘Recycling and Clean Energy’ pillar. As programs and initiatives are developed further, there is the potential for CE principles to become more impactful.

The ‘Australian Circular Economy Conference’ which was held in December this year. Unlike a typical conference consisting only of a set of speakers, ACEC20 was a ‘festival’ of events and activities. While not targeting energy recovery specifically, the conference events did deliberate on the progress, innovation and benefits of a circular economy and shine a spotlight on the industry and businesses actively using circular economy principles. Some energy aspects were also explored in a specific event targeting Australia-India collaboration, where emerging topics of plastic waste, critical metals, and new energy systems were on the agenda.