Driving the Circular Economy

Green Industries SA is leading South Australia’s transition to a circular economy to grow our economic prosperity, improve and sustain our environment and increase our wellbeing.

The circular economy is a ‘must-have’ as the current ‘take-make-dispose economy’ is unsustainable, anyway you look at it. A circular economy is a world where we use less natural and raw materials, keep products in use longer and design out waste and pollution.

Green Industries SA is driving the circular economy through strategic planning and policy, legislation, incentives and education to ensure resources circulate more within the state’s economy and that we operate with best practice in resource recovery and remanufacturing.

Green Industries SA is advocating for the benefits of a circular economy for South Australia - the opportunities for recycling, repair, reuse and remanufacturing, through circular solutions, can result in better economic, social and environmental outcomes. A transition to the circular economy is a priority in the draft South Australia’s Waste Strategy 2020-2025. We focus on developing a robust evidence base to support measures for a circular economy in South Australia. 

To drive this momentum for change partnerships are essential to our work, from product design, production and use/reuse and end-of-life. Green Industries SA looks to all South Australians to embrace the circular economy and partner for change. 

Redesigning single-use plastic bags

Compostable plastics made in South Australia are one way of replacing single-use plastics. Local company BioGro have seen their circular economy model lead to big business here and overseas with the assistance of infrastructure grant funding from Green Industries SA. Its compostable bags are used for household food waste collection and replacing 'barrier' bags used by fruit and vegetable retailers.

Reducing food waste

Redirecting food at its highest value - to feed hungry people - benefits charity organisations by providing greater access to fresh, nutritious as well as delivering positive environmental impacts in preventing good food going to waste. Green Industries SA has supported Foodbank South Australia, the largest hunger relief organisation in South Australia and OzHarvest,  a national food rescue organisation which collects quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivers it to more than 1,300 charities supporting Australians in need.

Repairing for reuse

Community-based shared fabrication spaces enable people to participate in a circular economy by learning about the ways we design, make, use and dispose of materials. From shared access to tools and equipment, to recovering and repurposing materials, to learning design, making and repair skills, these spaces enable people to develop circular economy literacy through education and practice.  Makerspace Adelaide, located in the city's Central Business District, was funded by Green Industries SA under its Shared Fabrication Spaces Grants Program.

Innovation in recycling

South Australia leads the world with its container deposit scheme, with cash paid for beverage containers. Local business Container Deposit Systems is exporting world leading circular economy technology to simplify recycling of beverage containers. Its technology provides recycling facilities with the opportunity to improve productivity, improve customer relationships and provide secure, auditable product management. Green Industries SA provided an innovation grant to assist with the development of the automated vision sorting technology which recognises deposit containers in any condition. It was developed in partnership with SAGE Automation, Macweld Industries and the University of South Australia.

Added value by recycling

Peats Soils & Garden Supplies extracts additional value from waste organic material through anaerobic digestion, which is used to generate bioenergy to supply electricity to plant: and manufacturing biodiesel to replace fossil fuel used in machinery and trucks at its Langhorne Creek facility. Peats also adds value when reprocessing organics through new product development. Blend 437 is a  finally screened humus which has been further remanufactured into Peats TailormadeTM Prill, a more advanced producet in a flowable form to allow easy application by farmers through air-seeder equipment during crop-sowing Peats invest in infrastructure with the assistance of funding under Green Industries SA’s Recycling Infrastructure Grants Program.