Green Industries SA (GISA) leads the development of the circular economy in the State through diverse collaborations which improve productivity, resilience, resource efficiency and the environment.

GISA was created as an independent statutory authority in 2004 under the Green Industries SA Act 2004.

The role of GISA is to:

  • keep South Australia at the forefront of green innovation in waste management, resource recovery and the circular economy
  • increase economic growth for South Australia by reducing waste and pollution, improving business practices and efficiencies and building South Australia’s competitive edge and resilience
  • build the State’s capability and resilience in the area of disaster waste management

South Australia's Circular Economy

Circular economy

GISA seeks to transform the way in which South Australians use and value resources using a zero waste model to innovate, adapt and lead.

Businesses are assisted to implement sustainable resource efficiency measures and increase productivity.  Funding is provided for solutions to problematic waste streams and innovations which create new jobs in the circular economy.  GISA undertakes leading-edge work in the areas of disaster waste management, circular economy leadership, education and waste infrastructure planning.

South Australia’s waste management achievements were recognised in the UN-HABITAT publication 'Solid Waste in the World's Cities', which featured the waste and recycling systems of more than 20 cities worldwide, and noted:

“South Australia has demonstrated a high level of political commitment and willingness to ‘stick its neck out’ and implement some policies and legislation upon which other administrations take a more conservative position.

The Zero Waste Act and Plastic Bag Ban are two excellent samples of South Australia’s government showing leadership by putting in place arrangements to support a major drive towards the 3R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle).”

South Australia has a long history of leadership in driving sustainable reuse of waste through policy and legislation spanning more than 30 years.

Funding for GISA’s programs comes from the solid waste levy, collected under the Fees and Levies regulations of the Environment Protection Act 1993 (EP Act).

The EP Act established the Environment Protection Authority, which is South Australia's independent environment protection regulator, focused on risk-based regulation of pollution and waste management activities in support of sustainable development.

Plastic bags banned

Say no to plastic bags

South Australia was the first Australian state to introduce a container deposit scheme in 1997.

In 2009 light-weight plastic bags were banned for sale in South Australia.

Recycling in South Australia

Results show that South Australia consistently holds high comparative diversion from landfill within Australia compared with other Australian states and territories.

83.8% (4.34 million tonnes) of all waste generated in South Australia was diverted from landfill in 2019-20.

recycling waste

In 2020, the South Australian Government passed the Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Act 2020, to phase-out use of certain single-use plastic products.

Single-use plastics are now prohibited from sale, supply or distribution in South Australia

South Australia’s Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Act 2020 is the first legislation of its kind in Australia. We plan to continue to lead the rest of the country by avoiding and replacing waste with reusable or recyclable alternatives to ensure the best environmental outcomes for the State.

Policy reforms in South Australia

Further reform is currently being implemented, including:

Supporting the circular economy

South Australia's Waste Strategy 2020-2025.  This Strategy will ensure high-impact and specific action in new directions including food waste and single-use plastics, regulatory waste reforms, education and behavior change, and importantly, support market development and re-manufacturing.  A target of zero avoidable waste to landfill by 2030 will guide action.

The strategy also prescribes quantitative targets for municipal solid waste, commercial and industrial construction and demolition waste streams and per capita waste reduction.

Valuing our food waste

South Australia's Food Waste Strategy 2020-25 - Valuing our Food Waste.  Our strategy complements Australia’s Reducing Food Waste (national strategy). Specific strategic actions are proposed at a state level to reduce and divert food waste across three program areas:

  • Prevention and diversion of household generated food waste
  • Commercial sector food waste generation and collection systems
  • Attracting and supporting investment and markets