AWRE Community Leaves 2023 Event Re-Energised, Re-Focused and Re-Committed
AWRE 2023 has come to a close and final day keynote speaker, Tasmanian Greens Senator, The Hon. Peter Whish-Wilson, summed up the mood by saying “The issues of waste reduction, resource recovery and plastics in the ocean cut across all political demographics.”
David Gerrard, CFO Veolia added “Change is going to require effort and brave decisions in order to hit the targets by 2030 and we need to acknowledge that Australia are behind world standards on how we use and address our waste policies – to get to where we want and need to get to, we all need to up our game”.
AWRE Product Manager, Sophie Teh, said “It’s been exciting to see the number of new exhibitors on the show floor this year, making this AWRE our largest event ever. “The sheer number of new entrants in the market highlights how much opportunity there is for new solutions supporting every waste stream, especially in the emerging medical, textile and e-waste markets” she said.
The 2023 AWRE Summit, in partnership with WCRA, NWRIC and ACOR, generated robust and challenging discussions asking the hard questions about Australia’s waste reduction targets. Senior executives, government decision makers and solution providers came together under the Summit’s program title “Australia’s Reality Check – Recycling & Residuals”.
During the Summit, Richard Pittard, Head of Sustainability, Cleanaway said “Waste is no longer seen as something with no value and the industry wants to make the investment that’s needed. Landfill does not mean the end of the road for resource recovery, and energy from waste can support Australia’s energy transition”.
Nancy Chang, the Executive Director of Regulatory Policy, Initiatives and Advice of the NSW EPA said “we need to shift how waste and resources are viewed. Innovation pathways in this space are moving at a fast pace, but we need to find ways to accelerate waste infrastructure.”
While the show floor is always the highlight, attendees appreciated the new layout featuring three distinct zones tailored to growing sectors within the industry – innovation, recycling, and organics recycling.
The free-to-attend Seminar Program within the exhibition space was well attended with industry professionals keen to keep up to date with the latest information and technology. There were packed out sessions for emerging waste streams such as e-waste, medical waste and circular textiles.
AWRE also honoured leaders in the industry with their newest initiative, the AWRE Awards program. Celebrating the industry with two award categories launched at this year’s event; “Best Recycled Product” and “Best New Innovation”.
Best Recycled Product was awarded to Layton Corp for its Enviro Hide 100% recyclable leather. The Enviro Hide production process utilises 90% less water compared to traditional leather manufacturing, significantly decreasing water pollution. With zero harmful chemicals used in its production, it effectively tackles the issue of chemical pollution.
Best Innovation was awarded to Mint Innovation for its proprietary technology where printed circuit boards (PCBs) are grounded into small particles and processed through an acid-leaching process to recover metals like copper, gold and palladium. The technology saves over 90% of carbon emitted through traditional mining per kilogram of gold produced.
The AWRE Innovation Pitch Fest was won by Slurrytub – a portable filtering system that provides a simple, cost-effective, and environmental solution for the capture and recycling of cement site waste.
The Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo will return to the ICC Sydney, 24 – 25 July 2024.
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