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recyclable plastic bottles

Circular Plastics Program

A total of $5 million is available in Circular Plastics Program (CPP) Round 1 to eligible applicants.

These grants help businesses to overcome market barriers, reduce the use of virgin and hard-to-recycle plastics and enable greater plastics circularity in NSW.

Key Requirements

Applications will go through a two-stage process:

Stage 1: Expressions of Interest (EOI)

Applicants will have eight weeks to develop and submit their responses to the EOI. Responses should include:

  • specifying which funding category their project proposal falls under (Stream 1 ‘Sole applicant’ or Stream 2 ‘Collaborative partnership’)
  • giving an overview of their project and activities
  • identifying project partners and their specific roles
  • outlining the commercial viability of the project
  • provide information on end-markets for recovered materials
  • providing information about how the project addresses the program priorities.
  • EOI responses must meet the eligibility criteria described in the Conditions of eligibility section below.

EOI responses will be assessed by an independent technical review committee (TRC) against the Assessment criteria. The TRC will then recommend projects to progress to Stage 2.

Stage 2: Detailed application

Applications shortlisted in Stage 1 will be invited to participate in Stage 2 – making a detailed application. Organisations that have not gone through the EOI process are not eligible to apply to stage 2.

Proponents will receive an invitation from the EPA to submit a final detailed application. Stage 2 participants will have eight weeks to:

  • develop their final application
  • formalise partnerships
  • complete a detailed budget using the EPA template that will be provided
  • conduct a financial and economic analysis.

What is eligible for funding?

Applications from both streams 1 and 2 will be competitively assessed for a share of the same $5 million funding pool. The total funding amount for both streams is combined.

Proposals should be submitted under one of the two streams outlined in the table below.

Snapshot of the Circular Plastics Program

Program element Stream 1 Stream 2
Priority polymers All plastic polymers, including, but not limited to PET, HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, PP, PVC, PS, ABS/SAN/ASA, PUR
Application type Sole applicants Collaborative partnerships
Funding limits $100,000 – $500,000 $250,000 – $750,000
Target organisations Small to medium businesses (SMBs) with fewer than 200 full-time equivalent staff (FTE) that are involved in the ‘make’ phase of a plastic product. Partnerships of three or more organisations that interact across the life cycle of a plastic product.The lead applicant must be at the make phase and be a small to medium business (SMB) with fewer than 200 full-time equivalent staff (FTE) Supporting partners may include large businesses (>200 FTE).
Project focus New product design and/or new processes in the manufacturing of plastic products Partnerships of three or more organisations that interact across the life cycle of plastic products that will support the improved delivery of the ‘make’ phase by the lead applicant. Collection, recycling, processing and other activities may be eligible for funding if they contribute towards the lead applicant meeting the objectives of the program.
Minimum co-contribution 1:1 matched funding, where applicants must contribute the same amount of funding as the EPA.50% of the applicant’s contribution must be cash, the rest can be in-kind funding (e.g. staff time to manage project implementation, use of equipment or machinery owned by the applicant or partner organisations).Matched funding can be contributed by any project partner.

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 products, services or systems to use less plastic or eliminate waste
  • redesign plastic products to be more recyclable
  • creating durable products, and can be more easily repaired or re-used
  • adopting a re-used 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).


What companies are eligible for funding?

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 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 the 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.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.