Aimed at supporting a circular economy, the Victorian Government is offering $5 million in grants to innovators developing novel ways of making what is old, new again.
Designed to help Victorian businesses, not-for-profits, industry and research facilities develop commercial projects to repair, repurpose and reuse waste that might otherwise end up in landfill, the program coincides with further bans on waste exports that will come into effect from June this year.
“The Recycling Victoria Markets Acceleration Fund will increase both demand for and uptake of recycled products in Victoria, facilitate partnerships between research institutes and industry, help a diverse range of Victorian businesses grow and support local jobs” the premier’s office said in a statement on Thursday.
Focusing on used paper and cardboard, plastics, tyres and glass (which are all subject to current and impending waste export bans) the fund will also be open to businesses developing commercial projects tackling the increasing scourge of e-waste and fast fashion.
The fund has two grant streams available: one for research, development and demonstration, with grants between $30,000 and $400,000; and commercialisation support between $30,000 and $300,000. Both opportunities are open until June 2 and recipients will have to match $1 for every $1 funded. A number of other grants, including some of up to $1 million will also open in the coming months.
As the environmental impacts of consumerism and waste become ever more pressing, Australian businesses have not snoozed on the potential silver linings of such a dark cloud. From stunning soy sauce-inspired fish lights, yoga mats and picnic blankets, to wearable items like jewellery, T-shirts and sunglasses. Even entire hospitality businesses. Across the country there is no shortage of bright ideas and beautiful products that feel fresh and fabulous while giving the detritus of modern life another chance rather than adding to the problem. This fund seeks to incubate even more.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio says the grants will help Victoria reach its goal of diverting 80 per cent of waste away from landfills by 2030.