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Circular Plastics Program Round 1 ♻️

NSW Circular Plastics Program Round 1 ♻️ – New Opportunity

Newsletter | September 28, 2022


The Circular Plastics Program provides new grant funding opportunities under the $10 million Circular Materials Fund (CMF). The CMF was created to support businesses in the transition to better plastic products and increase the recycling rate of plastics in NSW. This transition is a key action of the Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 and NSW Plastics Action Plan

The objectives of the CMF are to:

  • reduce the amount of virgin plastic used
  • reduce the amount of hard-to-recycle plastics used
  • increase the amount of recycled plastic in products
  • catalyse partnerships between producers, end users and the resource recovery sector.



The Circular Plastics Program will provide two streams of funding:


STREAM 1 FUNDING: Sole applicant projects

Sole applicant projects Stream 1 provides funding for sole applicants to target the ‘make’ phase of the product life cycle. This may include projects which:

  • alter or adopt innovative product design (e.g. new designs, moulds, forms, products)
  • improve manufacturing processes (e.g. through new equipment, material inputs)
  • increase recycled content manufacturing capacity
  • generate additional demand for recycled content
  • reduce the use/manufacture of virgin or hard-to-recycle plastics
  • reduce the generation of plastic waste. Projects must, as far as practicable, demonstrate viable end-markets for project outputs and benefits to NSW, including employment, infrastructure investment, environmental and social

STREAM 2 FUNDING: Collaborative partnership projects

The objective of Stream 2 is to catalyse partnerships between producers, end users and the resource recovery sector that will lead to improved plastics circularity in NSW. In addition to the conditions for Stream 1, the EPA expects all Stream 2 project proposals to involve strong and collaborative partnerships.

Applicants are encouraged to develop partnership projects with an emphasis on end-to-end supply chain collaboration. Proposals should aim to show enduring partnerships across the supply chain.

Partnerships must include a lead applicant at the ‘make’ phase that has fewer than 200 FTEs and a minimum of two other organisations. Project partners may be of businesses of any size, including large businesses (>200 FTE).

Partners may include, but are not limited to, product designers, recyclers/re-use facilities, waste collectors, end users, and tertiary/research organisations. For example, entities currently manufacturing plastic products may partner with those that design, collect, reprocess and/or re-use the material.

Partnership agreements may be demonstrated through a letter of support from the partnership organisation specifying the nature of support and their role in the project. Project management roles, responsibilities, funding contributions (in-kind and cash) and reporting requirements must clearly defined in the letter.



  1. EOI open: 23 September 2022
  2. EOI close: 11:59 pm Tuesday 17 November 2022
  3. Notification of EOI outcome for Stage 2 Applications: 1 December 2022
  4. Stage 2 application opens: 8 December 2022
  5. Stage 2 application closes: 16 February 2023
  6. Announcement of successful projects: 28 March 2023



The lead applicant must hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be either:

  • an Australian entity or partnership incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), or
  • a non-government/not-for-profit organisation (complying with the ATO’s definition) with an established legal status, or without a legal status but able to have grant funds administered by another organisation with legal status.

The applicant must also:

  • have fewer than 200 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees at time of submitting the EOI
  • operate at the ‘make’ phase of a product life cycle (e.g. product manufacturing and design)
  • hold the required insurance and public liability coverage, including:
    • public liability insurance to the value of at least $20 million
    • workers compensation insurance as required by all relevant laws.



Stream 1: Sole applicant $100,000–$500,000

Stream 2: Collaborative partnership $250,000–$750,000

  • Applicant co-contribution Projects require a matched co-contribution from applicants.
  • Co-contributions can be financial (cash) or in-kind.

At least 50% of the co-contribution must be cash contribution. For example, government contribution of $100,000 needs to be matched with a minimum $50,000 cash investment from applicant; the rest can be in-kind contribution.

The co-contribution must be itemised in the application budget (required in the Stage 2 detailed application). Applicants can (and are encouraged to) contribute more than the minimum 50% cash contribution as part of their commitment towards the project costs. Funding received from other government grants (such as Remanufacture NSW or other recycling infrastructure grants) cannot be included as the co-contribution.

For Stream 2 (Collaborative partnership) projects, co-contributions (cash and in-kind) can come from all project partners and must be identified in the application budget.



The key objective of the CPP is to reduce barriers and maximise opportunities for improved circularity at the ‘make’ phase of the plastic product life cycle.

To achieve this, funded projects must undertake at least one of the following:

  • reduce the amount of virgin plastic used
  • increase the amount of recycled plastic in products
  • reduce the amount of hard-to-recycle plastics used
  • catalyse partnerships between producers, end users and the resource recovery sector



Funding under both Stream 1 and Stream 2 of the CPP could be used for project items including, but not limited to:

  • purchasing of new or modified equipment (e.g. processing lines, moulds, blending machines etc.) to increase the use of recycled plastic in the manufacture of products or sustainable alternatives
  • redesign of products, services or systems to use less plastic or eliminate waste
  • redesign of plastic products to be more recyclable
  • creating products that are durable, and can be more easily repaired or re-used
  • adopting a re-use model to replace single-use packaging
  • commercialisation of new technologies
  • replacing hard-to-recycle plastics, such as soft plastics or multi-layer products, with sustainable alternatives
  • implementing innovative circular-economy business models and practices to develop or expand end-markets for recycled plastics.

Under Stream 2, funding could also be used to fund eligible partnership projects including (but not limited to) any of the options above, and:

  • product design, recycling, reprocessing, collection and other activities directly related to the manufacturing activities (up to 50% of funding)
  • coordinating the delivery of the project across project partners (up to 15% of grant funding).


More Information


For further tips on claiming the NSW Circular Plastics Program,
Give us a call or schedule an assessment


Ryan can assist with services such as:

  • Scope your potential to claim various grant programs
  • Assist with the preparation and lodgement of grant applications
  • Review or provide a health check on your internally prepared grant applications
  • Establish record-keeping practices as required under various grant programs
  • Provide prepayment loans against future cash refunds under the R&D Tax Incentive
  • Keeping industry informed on all new Government policy and grant initiatives

Don’t hesitate to give us a call or schedule a free assessment.