AWRE Wraps Up Successful 2019 Exhibition
The Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE) at Sydney’s Darling Harbour is over for another year and at the end of the two days, visitors and exhibitors left with an increased level of optimism about the future.
Event Manager, Andrew Lawson, said the past 12 months have been eventful for the industry and many appreciated the opportunity to re-group and reflect at AWRE.
“There have been many challenges for the industry this year and we are thrilled to be able to provide a place for the industry to take time to reflect on the opportunities ahead,” said Mr Lawson.
This year saw record attendance at the Speaker Series which provided timely discussions on the latest challenges, developments, strategies and policies which are shaping Australasia’s waste and recycling industry.
Opening the speaker series on Day 1 was KarMei Tang, Acting Executive Director, Waste Strategy and Policy NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, who presented opportunities and examples of the circular economy in NSW.
The first ever AWRE Leadership Breakfast on Thursday was a sell out, with Hon. Matt Kean MP Minister for Energy and Environment in attendance, who addressed guests just before the opening of the show.
This was followed by an open and candid panel discussion between James Hay Deputy Secretary Energy, Climate Change & Sustainability, Cr Linda Scott, President of Local Government NSW, Rose Read, CEO of the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council, Vic Bansal, CEO of Cleanaway, Charlie Emery, Director of Australian Organics Recycling Association and Tanya Barden, CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.
Mr Kean’s speech was shortly followed by a lively and candid panel discussion on the State of Waste, 18 months post China Sword. Panelist Mike Ritchie opened by saying he looks forward to “creating a conversation about recycling in Australia, how we will deal with waste in the future and how we can create a closed loop economy within Australia”.
David Baggs from Global GreenTag provided interesting comments, highlighting that there are still substantial barriers in to a combined industrial and industry response, one being that “the public still believes that recycled produces are seen as second grade”. Kate Harris from Good Environmental Choice Australia sees China Sword as “an incredibly exciting opportunity for Australia and Australian manufacturing, which will drive creative opportunity”. Pete Schmigel from ACOR gave a magnificent speech, commanding that we “look at curbside recycling in a broader way” he was pleased to acknowledge that the waste industry is seeing “political engagement like never before” but that this is an “unfunded system”, claiming that it would be beneficial to make curbside either recycling contestable or standardised.
Later in the morning saw a presentation from Trevor Evans MP, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management. As the first ever Minister with specific responsibility for waste reduction and recycling, Trevor spoke about the Federal Government’s $167m Australian Recycling Investment Plan. He highlighted the “increasing need for leadership in this area” but that he wants to “protect our environment, which generating exciting economic outcomes in this area”. He sees the opportunity to “create many jobs in the places that need them most”, such as regional and outer areas. He highlighted that 9 jobs are created for every 10,000 tonnes of plastic that is recycled, compared to only 3 jobs created if the same waste were sent to landfill, and he “sees this as a huge opportunity”. He closed by saying that “All Australians have a role to play in the ‘Recycling Revolution’”, and that there is a tremendous opportunity to have a positive impact on our environment and our economy.
Other key topics covered over the two days included current and newsworthy subjects such as “Old Roads, New Glass”, and “E-Waste – the Fastest Growing Waste Stream in the World”.
On the show floor there was a full circle of innovative products and sustainable solutions to collect, process and recycle waste more smartly. Future critical areas included Machinery & Equipment, Software & Services, Bins, Vehicles and Food & Organics.
For the first time the show included a dedicated Food Waste section showcasing the latest products and developments in the growing food waste servicing industry. This proved to be an extremely popular section of the show with positive feedback from both visitors and exhibitors
You can find images of Day Two of AWRE 2019 here:
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