Chemistry Australia welcomes comprehensive National Plastics Plan

The National Plastics Plan is a significant step toward advancing a more circular plastics economy in Australia.

Media Release | For Immediate Release | 4 March 2021

Chemistry Australia welcomes comprehensive plan to advance a circular economy for Australia’s plastics

Chemistry Australia has welcomed the announcement of the Federal Government’s National Plastics Plan, which comprehensively maps a pathway to support the sustainable use of Australia’s valuable plastic resources.

Chemistry Australia CEO Samantha Read said the National Plastics Plan recognises the need for all stakeholders across industry, governments, and consumers to work together to significantly reduce waste and boost the recovery and reuse of plastics at their end of life.

“The National Plastics Plan is a significant step toward advancing a more circular plastics economy in Australia,” said Ms Read.

“We welcome the considered and comprehensive approach by the Federal Government to tackle this particularly complex issue, an approach which recognises the opportunity that all parts of society have to use plastics in a more sustainable way.”

“We agree that a wholistic, integrated plan that implements solutions by all sections of industry, the Federal Government, state and territory governments, local governments and consumers is vital to achieve real results.”

“As a science-based industry, we encourage the use of quality information to inform strategic decision making. The collection of nationally consistent data will be essential to track progress and promote opportunities for continuous improvement.

“Plans to develop nationally consistent performance standards will also be critical to drive good outcomes in the recycling and reuse of plastics, ensuring that industry has suitable feedstock for remanufacturing.

“The Federal Government’s National Plastics Plan identifies opportunities and actions across all of these areas.

“The Australian chemistry industry will play a key role in providing material, technology, knowledge, research and innovation-based solutions to help achieve the objectives of the National Plastics Plan and we welcome the opportunity for strategic, national collaboration with all stakeholders on this important issue.”

Samantha Read said the Association was delighted to see Operation Clean Sweep® recognised as a key initiative to reduce plastics in our oceans and waterways.

“Chemistry Australia has worked closely with Tangaroa Blue and the Operation Clean Sweep® initiative for many years,” said Ms Read.

“Together, we continue to educate and encourage businesses, through Chemistry Australia member interest group Plastics Stewardship Australia, to prevent plastic pellet loss into the environment by implementing simple and effective improvements to their operations.”

“The ultimate goal is to achieve zero pellet loss through engagement with industry. We look forward to all parts of the plastics value chain signing onto this industry leadership initiative.”

Ms Read also welcomed the opportunity for Chemistry Australia, Plastics Stewardship Australia and its members to participate in the Federal Government’s Plastics Design Summit later in 2021.

“The 2020 National Plastics Summit was a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders from industry, government and the community on this important issue,” said Ms Read.

“We are looking forward to contributing our knowledge in polymer technology and innovation to the National Plastics Design Summit to advance much-needed solutions that maximise the potential of our plastic resources.”

At the National Plastics Summit last year, Chemistry Australia and its members from the plastics raw material industry, packaging industry and broader supply chain outlined the industry’s long-term commitment to:

  • Support the increased recovery of plastic products at end of life,
  • Help designers and manufacturers use plastics to achieve United Nations Sustainability Goals,
  • Strengthen uptake of Operation Clean Sweep to keep plastic pellets out of our oceans and waterways, and
  • Provide knowledge and information on the new Plastics Stewardship Australia website.

Chemistry Australia has also partnered with CSIRO on the national science agency’s Plastics Mission, which aims to use science and technology to develop solutions to prevent waste entering the environment, and transform the way Australia uses, re-uses and recycles plastics at their end of life.

Media contact:

Shayna Welsh – or 0448 660 443