What is the Australian Recycling Investment Fund?

The Australian Recycling Investment Fund is a new initiative designed to support the manufacturing of low-emission and energy-efficient recycled content products, including recycled content plastics, paper and pulp.

The fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and will receive guidelines from government about the mandate and how to best invest in new industry.

 

Background

Waste is responsible for some two per cent of Australia’s emissions, largely from methane gas produced by decaying organic waste in landfills. According to Australia’s National Waste Policy, each year, Australians generate 2.7 tonnes of waste per head, including plastics, paper, glass, metals, textiles, masonry, and food and other organic materials.

With investment in proven technologies, the CEFC works with companies to turn urban and industrial waste into new energy sources and valuable products, creating an important revenue stream while also reducing landfill gas emissions.

CEFC investment commitments through the Australian Recycling Investment Fund align with the principles of the circular economy. CEFC waste-related investments focus on effective waste management investing in proven clean energy technologies to reuse, recycle or reprocess waste, including as compost and alternative fuels.

The Australian Waste Policy describes the five key elements of the circular economy as:

  1. Avoid waste: Prioritise waste avoidance, encourage efficient use, reuse and repair; resign products so waste is minimised, they are made to last and we can more easily recover materials
  2. Improve resource recovery: Improve material collection systems and processes for recycling; and improve the quality of the recycled material we produce
  3. Increase the use of recycled material: and build demand and markets for recycled products
  4. Better manage waste material flows: to benefit human health, the environment and the economy
  5. Improve information: to support innovation, guide investment and enable informed consumer decisions.

 

Funding

The CEFC expects to provide either debt and/or equity finance to eligible larger-scale commercial and industrial projects through the Fund – typically requiring $10 million or more of CEFC debt or equity capital.

Smaller-scale projects, from $10,000 to $5 million, may be eligible for debt finance through the CEFC’s specialist asset finance programs.

As with all CEFC investments, projects seeking finance through the Australian Recycling Investment Fund must be commercial, reflecting the CEFC’s requirement to deliver a positive return for taxpayers across the portfolio.

In addition to investments through the fund, the CEFC will continue to invest in large-scale energy-from-waste projects. It is not expected that these projects will be financed through the Australian Recycling Investment Fund.

 

Eligibility

Through the $100 million Australian Recycling Investment Fund, the CEFC has a particular focus on large-scale projects which use clean energy technologies to support the recycling of waste plastics, paper, glass and tyres.

The fund draws on existing CEFC finance. In line with the CEFC Act, eligible projects under the fund are required to draw on renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies and to contribute to emissions reduction.

In addition to investments through the fund, the CEFC will continue to invest in large-scale energy-from-waste projects. It is not expected that these projects will be financed through the Australian Recycling Investment Fund.

 

More Information

 

Latest News

18 May 2020 – Morrison’s $100m recycling fund yet to invest in projects

A $100 million fund to promote recycling – the centrepiece of a national waste plan promised by the Morrison government during the election campaign – had invested no money in projects by late March.

Labor has accused the government of dragging its feet in responding to the waste crisis, with the first stage of its waste export ban to start in weeks.

In May last year Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the $100 million Australian Recycling Investment Fund to be run by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The funding is intended to provide concessional loans to support the manufacturing of lower-emissions and energy-efficient products with recycled content.

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