Samsara Eco to open Australia’s first infinite plastic recycling R&D facility

Paul Riley, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Samsara Eco
Paul Riley, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Samsara Eco

Australian enviro-tech startup, Samsara Eco, is creating the country’s first infinite recycling Research & Development (R&D) facility. Positioned within the Poplars Innovation Precinct at Jerrabomberra, Queanbeyan in Regional NSW, the facility will provide a new home base for Samsara Eco to scale its patented enzymatic capabilities and will serve as a key milestone for the company as it moves towards recycling 1.5 million tonnes of plastic per annum by 2030.

What does the facility mean for Samsara Eco?

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 Australian National University as it works to scale up its tech 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 offers enormous utility because of its durability, flexibility and strength. Yet, it’s an environmental disaster with almost every piece of the 9 billion tonnes ever made still on the planet,” said Paul Riley, CEO and Founder, Samsara Eco.

The research and development facility will be solely focused on accelerating Samsara Eco’s 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 Australian National University lab so far, but the plastic problem is growing fast. As we gear up towards commercialisation, access to our research and development facility will enable us to accelerate the capabilities of infinite recycling and scale our solution which breaks down plastics in minutes, not centuries,” Riley further said.

Samsara Eco delivers a solution to the problem. 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 being recycled — Samsara Eco takes plastic that exists and infinitely recycles it.

What does the facility mean for the region?

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council Mayor, Cr Kenrick Winchester said that securing Samsara Eco as a key anchor tenant of the Poplars Innovation Precinct was a huge step. Council shares Poplars Developments’ vision that focuses on attracting defence, space, cyber-security, information technology and scientific research sectors to the new precinct. 

“Samsara Eco’s groundbreaking technology has the potential to put Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra on the international stage as countries all over the world look for ways to reduce waste and work toward net-zero carbon emissions. We hope that securing Samsara Eco is the first of many new and exciting initiatives for the precinct and we look forward to the employment opportunities the precinct will provide,” Cr Kenrick Winchester commented.

“Poplars Innovation Precinct is located in Queanbeyan on the doorstep of the  Australian Capital Territory which will support employment and investment opportunities. With an expanding network of connections to a range of Universities and growth in the scientific research and high-technology industries, the precinct will be uniquely positioned to accelerate Samsara Eco’s next phase of growth,” said David Maxwell, Director Poplars Developments.

Samsara Eco’s infinite recycling tech returns plastic to its core molecules, which can then be used to recreate brand-new plastic, again and again. 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.