Australian enviro-tech startup, Samsara Eco, is creating Australia’s first infinite recycling Research & Development (R&D) facility.

Positioned within the Poplars Innovation Precinct at Jerrabomberra, Queanbeyan in regional NSW, the new R&D facility will provide a new home base for Samsara Eco to scale its patented enzymatic capabilities and serve as a key milestone for the company as it moves towards recycling 1.5 million tonnes of plastic per annum by 2030.

Since launching in 2021, Samsara Eco’s R&D has been based at the research laboratories at the Australian National University (ANU). Samsara Eco will continue to partner with the ANU as it works to scale up its world-leading technology ready for commercialisation.  

“You can’t solve the climate crisis unless you solve the plastics crisis. Plastic is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century and provides enormous utility because of its durability, flexibility and strength. Yet, it’s also an environmental disaster with almost every piece of the 9 billion tonnes ever made still on the planet,” Samsara Eco CEO and founder, Paul Riley said.

The R&D facility is solely focused on accelerating scientific research, ready for commercialisation in future facilities. Samsara Eco is working with Poplars, the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and the local community to develop Australia’s first infinite recycling R&D facility, which is expected to be operational by late 2024. 

“We’ve had fantastic growth out of our ANU lab so far, but the plastic problem is growing fast. As we gear up towards commercialisation, access to our first R&D facility will enable us to accelerate the capabilities of infinite recycling and scale our solution which breaks down plastics in minutes, not centuries,” Riley added.

Instead of mining for fossil fuels to create new plastic or relying on current recycling methods — which result in less than 10% of plastic waste actually being recycled — Samsara Eco takes plastic that already exists and infinitely recycles it.

Samsara Eco’s infinite recycling technology returns plastic to its core molecules, which can then be used to recreate brand-new plastic, again and again. Currently, Samsara Eco’s enzymatic library can tackle challenging plastics including coloured, multi-layered, mixed plastics and textiles like polyester and nylon 6,6. The R&D facility will be pivotal to expanding its enzymatic library.