New expert group to guide Australia's transition to a circular economy

Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek today announced the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Circular Economy at the Circularity 2022 Conference in Sydney.

This new expert group has been established to guide Australia as it transitions to a circular economy by 2030.

The new expert group will be chaired by Professor John Thwaites AM, with membership including Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley and outgoing chief executive of CSIRO, Dr Larry Marshall.

The group will look at how products are designed, manufactured and used across all sectors of the economy.

It will identify meaningful and direct changes the government and industry can make to drive the transition to a circular economy.

The decision to establish the new Ministerial Advisory Group on the Circular Economy follows the Environment Ministers Meeting in October, where all Australian environment ministers agreed to work with the private sector to design out waste and pollution, keep materials in use and foster markets to achieve a circular economy by 2030.  

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP:

“Today I am announcing the establishment of a new national advisory group, to guide our transition to a circular economy.

“Better waste management and more effective recycling are important – but they aren’t enough on their own. As a country we must do more to design-out waste in the first place, and make better use of recovered resources.

“We know that Australians want to reduce their waste and use less disposable items in the first place – but we have to set up our economy to help them do this.

“More than seventy percent of a product’s environmental impact is locked in at the design stage, before a customer ever looks at it.

“This means we need to get things right at the start, well before we deal with its disposal.

“A circular economy will create jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and the amount of waste we put into landfill.

“This transition is really exciting for the environment and the economy.

“I look forward to working with my state and territory colleagues, with industry and with the new advisory panel to drive our efforts to design out waste.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Science and Industry, the Hon Ed Husic MP:

“Reaching our net-zero goals requires an urgent systems-wide change to how we live and work.

“A circular economy will ensure that we are on track to make these changes and support the energy transformation.

“It’s a great opportunity to create manufacturing systems that are optimised to be less resource intensive, produce less waste, and have less impact on the environment.

“The Albanese Government will help this come to fruition through our Future Made in Australia policy and the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund – so we can rebuild Australia’s industrial base and take advantage of the opportunities from a net zero economy.

“I look forward to working with the Minister for the Environment on advancing our circular economy goals.”