NSW Recycling Modernisation Fund - Plastics Technology stream

Program snapshot

Grant Fund: Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF)

Grant program: NSW Recycling Modernisation Fund Plastics Technology stream (Plastics Technology)

Amounts: Between $1 million and $20 million. A total of $60 million is available nationally.

Eligible proponents: Individual organisations (or a consortium) operating across the plastics supply chain, with a project proposal based in NSW. For more details see eligibility

Status: Closed

Contact: Waste and Recycling Infrastructure Unit by email at infrastructure.grants@epa.nsw.gov.au


We are seeking proposals under the Plastics Technology stream to support projects that will increase recycling and recovery rates of hard-to-recycle plastics. The aims of the Plastics Technology stream are to:

  • significantly increase recycling and recovery rates of hard-to-recycle plastics
  • build domestic and international confidence to invest in recycling infrastructure in Australia
  • support a safe circular economy for plastics in Australia to transform waste plastic into valuable new products, such as food-grade plastic packaging
  • support long-term job creation and a more highly skilled workforce in the Australian recycling industry
  • protect our environment through reduced plastic pollution.

Before applying, proponents should read the Recycling Modernisation Fund – Plastics Technology stream Funding Guidelines to determine whether their proposed project meets project eligibility requirements.

Projects that can be funded

NSW will support proposals targeting all polymer types, except for polystyrene, bioplastics or PVC packaging as they are not in alignment with NSW policy directions. If your proposal is targeting one of these materials, please contact the Waste and Recycling Unit by email at infrastructure.grants@epa.nsw.gov.au

Eligible proposals include:

  • advanced recycling projects targeting hard-to-recycle plastics, such as mixed, multi-layer, flexible or contaminated plastics
  • commercialisation or scaling-up of emerging and trial technology targeting circularity of hard-to-recycle plastics
  • infrastructure upgrades and technology to extract and process plastics contained within products, such as e-waste, into higher-value products
  • proposals to equip existing or new material recovery facilities or plastic recovery facilities with sorting, separation, and de-contamination technology such as optical or robotic machinery to increase the diversion of plastics from landfill
  • proposals put forward by a consortium proposing end-to-end solutions and circularity in our plastics supply chain. For example, this may include supply chain collaboration between a collection and sorting facility of plastic waste, an advanced recycling facility, and manufacturers.

Applications must relate to eligible activities and be for:

  • new infrastructure, technology, processes, machinery and/or equipment to recycle hard-to-recycle plastics
  • an improvement or expansion of existing infrastructure, technology, processes, machinery and/or equipment to recycle hard-to-recycle plastics
  • commercialisation or scaling up to build or increase existing capacity for recovering and recycling hard-to-recycle plastics.

For the full list of eligibility and application requirements, please see section 3.1 of the program Guidelines

Available funding

Grants are between $1 million and $20 million.

Up to $60 million is available nationally and applications supported by the NSW Government will be competitively assessed against applications from other jurisdictions by the Commonwealth Government. Project proponents must contribute at least 50% of the eligible project financial costs.


Eligible project proponents (or in the case of a consortium, lead project proponents) are:

  • an Australian entity or partnership incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • an entity or partnership under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006
  • an Australian research institution (can be a tertiary education institution, a government agency established for research, a cooperative research centre, an institute or centre of research or a privately owned and accredited research facility). Consultancies are not considered to be research institutions
  • a council, regional organisation of councils or other local government-controlled organisation
  • a non-government/not-for-profit organisation (must comply with the Australian Taxation Office’s definition) with an established legal status, or those without legal status that can have grant funds administered by another organisation with legal status
  • an Aboriginal Land Council.

Application process

Applications are closed.

Assessment process

Proposals will be assessed by a NSW independent expert panel. The NSW independent expert panel will assess proposals and accompanying documents against the program guidelines and assessment criteria as set out in the Guidelines. The assessment process is overseen by a probity auditor.

Recommended projects from NSW will be submitted to the Commonwealth government for final funding decisions.

Industry briefing

The Australian Government have recorded an industry briefing on the Plastics Technology (PT) Stream, which is available on the RMF Plastics Technology stream webpage.

The industry briefing describes key elements of the PT stream guidelines and provides information on the application and selection process for project proponents.

It is designed to support industry engagement and participation in the program and supplement publicly available information, including the program guidelines. The briefing encourages proponents to contact their jurisdictions early, to understand your processes for bringing forward proposals.

Who do I speak to about my proposal?

We invite interested parties to contact the Waste and Recycling Infrastructure team at infrastructure.grants@epa.nsw.gov.au to discuss their proposal. This may include:

  • discussing your project needs and how they align with the Commonwealth and NSW EPA’s goals and priorities
  • clarifying eligibility of projects or project activities

Please note that EPA staff are not able to provide detailed advice or assistance on how to respond to form questions or budget templates and are not technical plastics experts.

The Commonwealth government has committed $60 million towards a Plastics Technology stream as part of the $250 million Recycling Modernisation Fund to address plastic recycling rates, plastic pollution and contribute to the targets of the National Waste Policy Action Plan.

The Commonwealth government is partnering with States and Territories to deliver the program. States and Territories are working towards program timelines set by the Commonwealth government for the opening and assessment of projects.

NSW generates approximately 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year and only about 10% of that is recycled. The remaining 90% ends up in landfill or the natural environment. This represents a significant loss of materials from the productive economy.

The NSW Government identified this issue and has set targets under the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 and the NSW Plastics Action Plan.

The Plastics Plan outlines a comprehensive suite of actions to address plastic at all stages of its lifecycle including to accelerate the transition to better plastic products.

By supporting more advanced recycling technologies, we unlock opportunities for previously hard-to-recycle plastics like soft plastics to be recovered, boost our plastics recycling rates, support the transition away from virgin plastics and drive towards a safe circular economy for plastics.