25-26 Nov 2020
ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour

Industry Forum Stage

Covering critical topics impacting the future of waste and recycling in Australia, the 2019 AWRE Industry Forum, in partnership with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, presented key industry actions and insights from across policy & regulation, trends & insights to practical and tangible solutions from innovators shaping the future direction for Australia.

30/10/2019 - 31/10/2019
Check individual sessions
Check individual session
Free event

Wednesday 30 October

The presentation will provide an overview of the circular economy and the policy development process in NSW. It will also discuss opportunities and examples of the circular economy in NSW, and how implementation of circular economy principles can maximise the value of resources, reduce waste, and deliver positive outcomes for business.

The landscape of Australia’s recycling sector has never been as important to the community as it is today. Why is recycling so important to Australians? What areas can we improve? Are we placing the right type of materials in the bin with the yellow lid? How are we placed strategically across Government, industry and commercially to really impact our environment and communities at such a vital time? State & Territory Governments are increasingly using waste levies as a key instrument to influence waste management behavior. Is this approach working?

Our panel of experts will delve deep into the core issues, insights and opportunities currently facing the waste and recycling sector.

In response to China’s National Sword, Australia’s Government’s agreed to establish a sustainable path for Australia’s recyclable waste. With regards to packaging, Ministers agreed to reduce the amount of waste generated, to make it easier to recycle products and set a target to make 100% of packaging in Australia reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

In 2019 APCO have undertaken four data projects to set the foundation in achieving the 2025 National Packaging Targets. In this session APCO CEO Brooke Donnelly will lead a discussion that addresses:

o Benchmarking consumption and recycling data
o Infrastructure mapping for collection, sorting and recycling packaging
o Economic analysis of alternative collection systems and end markets
o Options to deliver resource recovery systems for used packaging materials in Australia

With calls across the nation for greater uptake of crushed glass into civil construction works funded by local, state and federal governments this session will explore the current reuse, recent changes to specifications, supply chain challenges and what future potential is there for this reuse market?

In the wake of announcements that the Government is clamping down on Australia’s approach to waste management – particularly when it comes to export – what’s next for the country’s environmental agenda? Where do we go from here? And will resources such as Refuse Derived Fuel and Process Engineered Fuel have a role to play – or not?
With the debate showing no sign of quietening down – and waste arisings on the increase – action is required, and fast!

Drawing upon almost 30 years’ experience, Gary Moore will explore how similar challenges have been overcome in Europe and the USA. It took drastic action to instigate change in these parts of the world – with tax hikes making landfill almost impossible in the UK for example – but industry innovation meant that it was possible to achieve greater environmental compliance and harness the wealth from residual ‘waste’. Gary will talk delegates through topics such as the UK’s Waste Hierarchy model, the classification of alternative fuels as a resource not a waste, and what needs to be done to encourage public ‘buy in’.

Thursday 31 October

"State and Territory governments have been busily releasing discussion papers and developing policies, strategies and plans for waste avoidance, resource recovery, circular economy, waste to energy, single use plastics, infrastructure, organics, food waste and more. Nationally, an Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction has been appointed. Additional funding has been committed by federal and state governments to grow a local resource recovery and processing industry. Circular economy hubs and networks are being created."

This session will explore the plethora of activity across governments and analyse if we are forging a pathway that will enable Australia to manage its waste and resources more sustainably

Taking responsibility for better managing Australia’s waste is a key priority for the Morrison Government. As the first ever minister with specific responsibility for waste reduction and recycling, Trevor will speak about the Federal Government’s $167m Australian Recycling Investment Plan to drive the growth of Australia’s domestic capacity to process and recycle our own waste, and build demand for utilising recycled materials.

Since 2010, the circular economy has moved beyond a niche topic, to a priority area of research and practice, and an undeniable economic opportunity around the world. People are looking for a new vision for an economy that works, now and in the future. In response, the core principles of a circular economy are seen as an opportunity and a new narrative for innovation and progress."

However, the very simple reality is that to realise the value of the circular economy it needs to be actioned. As the only Australian to speak at the World Circular Economy Forum Ashleigh Morris along with Coreo Co-Founder Jaine Morris, will share their insights to how Australia is placed in the global transition to a circular economy from a Government and Industry standpoint.

This session will review the current state of levies across Australia, including a comparative analysis of what is being levied, how much is collected, where it has been invested and discuss how this regulatory tool could be improved in light of the current challenges facing the waste and recycling sector.


e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Globally we'll produce more than 50 million tonnes of e-waste this year alone, 700,000 tonnes of which will be generated in Australia. In light of these alarming statistics, what are the major issues facing Australia’s e-waste industry? What action can we take to address this and how can technology and innovation help at such a critical time.

Our experts will share their insights on all the key issues, trends and opportunities in the industry, including what role government should play.

How do we manage the risks and opportunities for re-purposing our batteries? How do we reduce our reliance on conflict materials and poor environment practices? How can we best respond to the potential dilemma of costs of recycled vs new?

The session will discuss all this and more to address the key issues associated with achieving a circular economy for batteries in Australia, exploring the fundamental questions that drive our abilities towards a true circular economy

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