Going full circle

recycling plant

UCA Funds Management is backing investments that encourage the maximum use and re-use of resources as Australia faces a potential crisis in recycling on World Environment Day.

In the ethical investment group’s most recent Funds Management News Portfolio Manager Tim Starke’s discussion paper reports on how policy changes in China are threatening to make recycling prohibitively expensive.

Already this has prompted a council in Queensland to send recycling straight to landfill, while councils in Victoria are raising bin rates or relying on a state government subsidy, which is set to run out.

The discussion paper says an alternative might be the circular economy.

“A circular economy can be simply explained as having a “circle of life” approach to production,” the paper says.

“It focuses on keeping resources in use for as long as possible, recovering and regenerating products at the end of their life cycle.”

The paper says UCA Funds Management is “pleased to see some companies already taking action”.

“Currently a part of our portfolios, packaging company Amcor has pledged that all of its packaging will be recyclable and reusable by 2025,” the paper says.

“Encouragingly, more than 10 leading brands and retail companies have now made the same commitment.

“We hope this move results in more companies following suit and taking their whole life cycle environmental impact into consideration.

“As we see recycling as a positive industry to invest in, UCA Funds Management will continue to monitor the topic and seek companies following similar action.”

Read the full discussion paper here.

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