Special Interest

Tomorrow is World Environment Day

by Shellique Friday June 4th 2021

Tomorrow is World Environment Day-World-Environment-Day

This is an important time to reflect on the climate crises.

Australia’s latest recycling developments

The government's Round 10 of its CRC-P initiative, ‘Cooperative Research Centre Project’, has invested $14, 9 million into 9 recycling and waste projects.

CRC-P is an Australian Federal Government program and is made up of key bodies for Australian scientific research. CRC-P helps the business industry partner with the research centre to solve industry-identified problems. It does this by offering grants for up to 10 years and supporting research collaboration for up to 3 years.

Great Wrap, which will be explained below, will use $210, 000. Another initiative, ‘Advanced Circular Polymers’, will use $2 million to develop and commercialise an AI-enabled autonomous sorting system for plastic recycling. ‘AI’ means ‘artificial intelligence’, i.e. robots. These can replace human sorters in the sifting system for plastic recycling.

The Morrison Government's ‘Waste Recycling and Reduction Act’ passed in Parliament, which bans export of waste plastic, paper, and tyres, has motivated for this support to be given for new developments in recycling technology and infrastructure.

The time to move has arrived. Collaboration between industry and researchers has demonstrated that the Australian people are not couch potatoes but movers and shakers.

Cling wrap made from potatoes

An Aussie couple has stopped being couch potatoes! They have taken the common spud and made it famous by turning it into cling wrap, called ‘Great Wrap’. The world’s first COMPOSTABLE CLING WRAP made out of potato waste! And the government is behind them, putting cash where there once was trash.

They can't make this great wrap fast enough. Orders have been rushing in. They sold $30 thousand in their first week. It costs $14.95 for a pack of two 30m rolls. They currently employ 15 staff.

It is available online at: www.greatwrap.co

 (direct to consumer)

The potato waste is imported from the US and breaks down in 18 days in nature. The founding couple is working with Monash University to come up with an Australian fruit alternative. More than 150 thousand tonnes of plastic wrap go into landfills annually.

Their next product is pallet wrap, which will be made from potatoes as well. They have the machine for it. The machine has to be certified to show it can handle heavy loads. Large wine companies and fruit juice companies can then send their waste to them rather than the landfill.

Jordie, the husband, being a winemaker, knows about the wine market. His wife, Julia, left her job as an architect to put everything she had into potatoes! Their sacrifice has already paid off.

They received a $20 thousand grant from Amazon, which helped keep it an Australian business. Diverting food waste from the landfill into a useable product is a major contribution to alleviating the Australian recycling headache.

Their formula has resulted in a product that is marine biodegradable (dissolves in water). The starch is extracted and turned into a biopolymer for the couple to use. According to the dictionary, a biopolymer is any polymeric chemical manufactured by a living organism.

The founding couple is setting up processes and facilities in Australia which will process agricultural food waste. This will convert into marine biodegradable and compostable resin to use in their wraps.

‘Biodegradable’ means the ability to be broken down by bacteria of other organisms naturally in water, soil, or compost. They become water, carbon dioxide, and mineral salts.

Biodegradable products and greenhouse gases (the good and bad)

A blend of starch-based ingredients, such as potatoes, is the most effective way to produce biodegradable products that break down into small enough pieces of plastic invisible to the naked eye.

The ability to become compost will ensure that plastic won't remain in the environment for hundreds of years. It also reduces the amount of methane gas produced by landfills. It can help reduce the need for ever-increasing landfill disposable sites.

Plastic and rotting potatoes made from fossil fuels increase greenhouse (bad) gas emissions like methane into the environment. Taking potatoes out of landfills will reduce the amount of methane and other greenhouse gases released. Greenhouse gases greatly contribute to the climate crisis. Most other compostable, soft plastic alternatives are still made from PBAT, which is a biopolymer made from oil or starch from corn. This requires expensive factory operations.

New recycling projects

Eight recycling projects have been announced in South Australia. Major recycling centres are being expanded or constructed from scratch.

Here are three examples:

  • A wastepaper and cardboard recycling plant at Edinburgh, in Adelaide's north

  • A material recovery facility at Seaford Heights in the southern suburbs

  • And extra facilities in the glass factory just outside Gawler.

Funding is going towards both existing and new recycling facilities. Projects worth $111 million in joint funding from state and federal governments will divert more than 205 thousand tonnes of waste resources back into manufacturing locally-made products. All of this is part of the government's renewed waste management strategies.

Plastic waste reduction plan

Some specific regulatory targets related to plastics are outlined in a timeline in a document for the period between 2021 and 2030. This document is called ‘Australia's 2025 National Packaging Targets’ and can be found at:


Specific actions are being introduced, such as supporting plastic-free beaches, new labelling guidelines to help consumers, phasing in microplastic filters in washing machines, and ensuring that all packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

Australia is on its way to overcoming its waste and landfill crisis.

Contact Us

  • you must agree to our terms and conditions before continuing.   

Sign up now

  • you must agree to our terms and conditions before continuing.