24-25 Jul 2024


The NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 proposes reforms to mandate the source separation of food and garden organics for households and selected businesses. This session provides an overview of the proposed reforms and the NSW EPA $69 million program to support the transition.

With almost fifty percent of Australia’s waste stream consisting of organics, ‘getting organic recycling right’ is of paramount importance if a circular economy is to be achieved. The good news is that organics recycling is the industrialisation of a natural process and the products it can deliver are increasingly vital to a more sustainable future for all. We do however have a number of challenges to getting it right and unless we can overcome these challenges, the circular economy is out of reach.

The AIP will be running a session at AWRE that will be focussed on how to design out waste, create more circular and sustainable packaging with lower environmental impacts. The unique innovations that will be discussed in the session will be award-winning PIDA and WorldStar examples. The Sustainable Packaging Design session is free for all of industry to attend so book your place today. All attendees will attain 1 CPD point per session towards the global Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) designation.

One of the main problems with recycling is the mindset it creates. Businesses, just as much as households, have viewed recycling as THE solution to meeting environmental targets, rather than see it as a last resort for waste management. But recycling simply delays product from ending up in landfill and should not give business any comfort about the levels of waste it is creating. As the scrutiny increases on sustainability practices to ensure they are genuine, zero waste emerges as the holy grail: highly desirable but unachievable. So, if perfection is out of reach, how do we at least make progress? Active International has worked with a range of industries to reduce waste by giving product destined for destruction a second life, finding new markets and simultaneously reduce marketing costs. Find out how Active is a critical part of ESG plans for partners from Audi to Aldi.

Returning after a successful first-run in 2022, the Innovations Pitch Fest is back in 2023, providing a showcase opportunity for the waste and recycling industry’s latest innovative solutions presented by the individuals and companies leading them. The Innovation Pitch Fest will feature a line-up of our 2023 Innovation Zone exhibitors. Directly after the pitch, our judges will provide instant feedback on a number of criteria, including consumer need, innovation, point of difference, go-to market strategy and product sustainability. The Innovation Zone is sponsored by Palfinger Australia.

Judges provide feedback on the 2023 Pitchfest companies and announce the winner for this year! The Innovation Zone is sponsored by Palfinger Australia.

Join us for the the Awards Ceremony for the inaugural AWRE Awards 2023 where winners for this year will be announced. The mission of the AWRE Awards is to shine a spotlight on the waste, recycling and resource recovery industry’s latest innovative solutions, and the individuals and companies leading them. Through recognising and celebrating the trailblazers of innovation and new end market solutions, we aim to foster a platform to drive a thriving and sustainable resource recovery system in Australia.

The NSW EPA have developed a Joint Procurement facilitation service to help councils come together to procure value for money waste services and support the move to a circular economy through new waste infrastructure. The presentation will focus on the co-design process, challenge and opportunities, and the structure of the service.

In the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041, NSW Government committed to using its purchasing power to stimulate demand for recycled material, while also working to support the market response. The Strategy builds on our net zero commitments and requires NSW Government departments to preference products that contain recycled content, including building materials and office fit outs and supplies, on an ‘if not, why not’ basis.
This presentation will provide further information on:
• Initiatives proposed under the Circular Innovation Fund, which aims to increase demand for quality recycled material on government projects
• Recycled material suppliers directories and how they can support purchasing decisions
• Project pipelines and understanding upcoming government construction projects, to anticipate demand.

The NSW EPA recently completed an independent review of the resource recovery framework. This session will provide an overview of review findings and what the EPA is doing to implement them, including the EPA’s approach to investigating options for an innovation pathway for recovered materials.

Unfortunately, some stakeholders continue to make self-declared incorrect, misleading, and sometimes entirely false environmental claims, which is a breach under Australian Consumer Law. The success of circular strategies within the waste, recycling and resource recovery industry will be contingent on trust, transparency and robust data.
This presentation focuses on three critical internationally recognised and accessible tools that can strengthen Australia's journey toward a circular economy:
(1) Lifecycle Ecolabels (ISO 14024)
(2) Third-party Claims Authentication (ISO 14021)
(3) LCAs and EPDs (ISO 14025)
It will also demonstrate the importance of a holistic approach encompassing human health, social impacts and quality considerations.
After attending this seminar, delegates will be able to access three critical internationally recognised tools to enhance the robustness of their circular strategies and know how best to use them. They will also gain insight into how to avoid circularwashing and embrace transparency.

The NSW EPA will showcase innovative projects and success stories that highlight how businesses are avoiding, reducing, reusing and recycling waste as we support them to transition to a circular economy. This session will also provide an update about upcoming opportunities for businesses including the new Bin Trim Networks Program, Rebates and the Bin Trim Business App.

Initially conceived as litter reduction initiatives, container deposit schemes are part of a long-term solution to manage recyclable material and recognised for their contribution to an emerging circular economy in Australia.
Maintaining public support and trust in the schemes' outcomes has been a priority for NSW and ACT scheme coordinator Exchange for Change, particularly as public trust in recycling is tested following negative media coverage of other recycling programs.
Through market research, both ACT and NSW container deposit schemes have identified that environmental and financial benefits are key motivators for participation in the programs. Exchange for Change saw an opportunity to increase support and trust in the schemes, and partnered with Lifecycles to create new digital tools based on life cycle assessments that calculate and showcase the individual and cumulative positive impact of people’s participation using scheme data.
In this presentation, Exchange for Change CEO Danielle Smalley and Lifecycles Director and Founder Tim Grant will detail the strategy behind these initiatives and the results achieved to date. Danielle will also share the lessons learned along the way and how these can be applied by other organisations or schemes seeking to achieve lasting behaviour change.

Making the waste management system sustainable is essential for driving a circular economy in Australia. To achieve this we need to take four steps: optimise regulation; balance waste volumes with processing capacity and end uses; find solutions for all waste types; and adapt to the changing environment.

Despite increased urgency and public awareness, the 2022 National Waste Report reveals that Australia's waste management and resource recovery system is moving backwards. Hear from four state representatives on the current roadblocks and challenges such as inadequate data collection and analysis, and insufficient infrastructure and investment in industry. Whilst highlighting the fragmentation of policies across states and territories, this session will also explore possible solutions to this pressing challenge.

Recognising that a circular economy cannot be achieved without an efficient resource recovery and recycling sector, this session will delve into the current state of Australia's resource recovery and recycling systems; the reality, roadblocks and solutions. Through reviewing the current export bans and their impact and exploring the challenges and opportunities, we will discuss practical steps and innovative solutions that need to be taken to drive progress and ensure that we are moving forward in this crucial area.

The future of Australia's waste and resource recovery industry is facing a critical moment as the country struggles to address the increasing amount of residual waste being sent to landfills. This session will address the challenges of managing residual waste streams, exploring topics such as landfill and waste-to-energy solutions, social license and infrastructure hurdles, and the need for effective nationwide policies and regulations. Join us as we discuss the current state of the industry and the steps that must be taken to ensure a sustainable future for Australia's waste management.

Opening up to the floor, this your opportunity as active audience participants to ask questions and voice; what you believe would make a difference, where you’ve seen successes, what actions need to be taken forward, and who we need to approach.

Final closing remarks and key learnings from the AWRE Summit 2023.

Rick Ralph, CEO of NRWIC opens the Industry Breakfast, setting the tone of discussion.

Join us for an insightful opening keynote by Senator Whish-Wilson from the Australian Greens as he talks to the current state of recycling and resource recovery, including challenges, recognised opportunities, actions and future plans.

Veolia's Chief Financial Officer, David Gerrard, provides an industry perspective on effective procurement, opportunities for growth, and enhancing efficiency for a sustainable resource recovery system.

An engaging discussion between Senator Whish-Wilson and David Gerrard, talking to both government and industry perspectives, facilitated by NWRIC CEO, Rick Ralph.

ACPO’s CEO Chris Foley will discuss Australia’s relationship with packaging over two horizons. Horizon one deals with the current voluntary National Packaging Targets while Horizon Two deals with the need for a stronger co-regulatory framework to improve environmental outcome, strengthen compliance, protect public interest and ensure accountability across the packaging system while supporting innovation, competition and investment.

As we shift to mandated food waste collection, commercially available food packaging such as compostable bags, film, food trays, and coffee pods will play a significant role in increasing the collection of food waste and enabling its efficient conversion into quality compost.
There are exciting opportunities within the industry to explore the benefits of compostable packaging in separate collection and recycling of food waste, and innovate this process to maximise successful organics resource recovery.

This panel session, led by Virginia Brunton (Principal Consultant- Organics, MRA) and including delegates from Veolia, the Australasian Bioplastics Association and the packaging industry, will explore some of the pioneering technologies and processes in this space and identify the current challenges presented by packaging for the Australian recycled organics industry.

The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) Program is an on-pack labelling scheme that is helping consumers to recycle packaging correctly and supporting brand owners and packaging manufacturers to design packaging that is recyclable at end-of-life.
Recycle Mate is a dynamic recycling education platform that combines artificial intelligence technology with Australia’s most comprehensive recycling directory to reduce contamination in recycling systems, improve resource recovery and support a circular economy.
APCO has partnered with Recycle Mate to bring together all the benefits of a static on-pack label with a dynamic recycling information service. Supporting optimal recycling behaviours during a transitionary phase as our industry moves to a circular economy for used packaging.
How can a static on-pack label and a dynamic recycling information service align to support an evolving recycling industry and a transition to more sustainable packaging formats?
Recycle Mate is dynamic – it communicates local recycling rules, it provides granular and current information to consumers as recycling systems evolve, as trials are implemented, and new schemes are rolled out. It provides kerbside advice and directs people to away from home recovery options.
The ARL is our end goal – an on-pack label to provide the most easily accessible recycling/disposal advice for packaging formats accepted with consistent collection schemes nationally supported by mature recycling markets. Recycle Mate is helping to navigate the transition.

The AIP will be running a session at AWRE that will be discussing the balance required between the environmental impacts of food waste vs packaging waste. The session will discuss the trade-offs, unintended consequences and also showcase award-winning best practice examples of intuitive and innovative Save Food Packaging Design that can minimise food loss and waste across the value chain. Speakers will be recognised designers in the field and will be discussing their most recent PIDA and WorldStar award winning packs. This Food Waste vs Packaging Waste session is free for all of industry to attend so book your place today. All attendees will attain 1 CPD point per session towards the global Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) designation.

The healthcare and medical technology industries are significant contributors to Australia's waste and carbon emissions. In this session, clinical and sustainability experts from around Australia highlight the urgent need for large scale change through a whole systems change in managing waste. Addressing the challenges faced; from material contamination, to limitations on material selection, recyclability and utilisation of recycled materials. This session will also shed light on practical and inspiring initiatives that can be successfully implemented in a circular approach; from educating staff, designing out waste, and collaborating with innovative solution providers to see a whole systems change and in turn mitigate climate change impacts.

Achieving Australia's 80% resource recovery target requires a 13-fold increase in plastics recycling capacity, totalling 2.5 million tonnes. What is the reality of the volume of plastic that is being processed in Australia, and how much is slipping through the gaps? What are the crucial pieces of the puzzle needed to work together and ensure a circular economy for plastics? This session explores the crucial role of value chain collaboration and action in realising this ambitious target. Our panel of experts from diverse backgrounds in plastics discuss existing innovative technology such as advanced chemical recycling techniques, the role of regenerative product design, national product stewardship and the importance of behavioural change and education with the community. This session will provide real examples of challenges, innovative solutions, strategies and success stories faced in the urgent pursuit of sustainable plastic waste management in Australia.

The export ban is in place for plastics, glass and tyres. The ban on paper and cardboard will commence on 1 July 2024. This session will look at what the NSW Government is doing to boost new infrastructure to collect, sort, recycle and create end markets for these materials to keep them out of landfill.

It's no doubt that clothing and textile waste has become one of the largest and most critical contributors to Australia's waste. With the establishment of the Seamless stewardship scheme, the responsibility on brands and retailers to ensure end-of-life for products is more real than ever. This session will explore the challenges and viable solutions available onshore, delving into local processing opportunities and end market uses.
Our panel of experts discuss the urgent need to shift away from exporting the hundred of thousands of tonnes of textiles and clothing waste, highlighting both the environmental and economic benefits of adopting a circular system. Discover how businesses can capitalise on this paradigm shift, turning textile waste into profitable ventures onshore, and explore practical sustainable strategies that can transform the future of textiles in Australia.

Electronic and technology waste is rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing waste streams globally. In this session experts discuss and unlock the reality of the scale of e-waste in Australia and the true potential of transforming this waste to value. How do we currently view and treat end-of-life electronics? Who is responsible for ensuring these don't end up in landfill? What role does end-of life product design play in this? And are there ways to make this economically viable? Our panel answer these questions and explore the challenges, opportunities and real-life examples of practical implementation to accelerate this sector forward.

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