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A-NZ President letter

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

SPE: A-NZ Newsletter by the President

It is a good time for a Newsletter as so much has happened since the last one in December 2020.

There is optimism in the industry, the local plastics industry is in principle doing well and Australia and New Zealand are on the way to vaccinating the population. This will bring more freedom and even more activity. It will bring along even more changes as we have learned how to be more flexible and do things differently.

If you read this Newsletter you might have missed the first webinar of your local SPE Section in 2021. We have had an interesting first webinar on 10th February on Design and we are grateful to our Program Chair, Lynley Crawford, for bringing this event together.

As a first in our series on “Plastics make it happen”, with which we hope to kick-off our webinars in 2021, we had Aleks Lajovic from Impact International presenting on his new venture: ownership and management responsibility for his new forest close to Canberra.

Why does a polymer converting company own a forest? Impact International is owning and managing the forest to sequester carbon which is used to offset the carbon footprint of tubes manufactured at the company’s manufacturing facilities.

We expect that this is a first for the plastics converting industry in Australia and hope that it will eventually stimulate other companies to consider such solutions as well.

This introduction was followed by Ron Pennekamp from Brokat Studio with a presentation on a different issue which highlighted that the plastics industry should not forget that, apart from finding and bringing technical solutions through design and manufacturing to the industry, we need to communicate with a variety of actual and potential stakeholders to remain relevant and attract business opportunities as the changes due to COVID-19 have demonstrated. Ron illustrated how digital marketing could assist with web design and create a consistent stream of unique, relevant and timely content with value and the use of outstanding imagery for reaching your specific audience.

The next presenter was Graeme MacDonald of Cube Industrial Design. This design house has a strong and small team of industrial designers which has shown how over the last 20 years a focus on appliances eventually brought other technical and industrial markets to the company. Apart from the services to the selected market sectors the strength of Cube Industrial Design is the assistance to their clients with the commercialisation of their new products. As we all know the lack of good commercialisation of innovations and new products is one of the limiting factors in establishing success in the marketplace.

Blackmagic Design became one of the world's leading innovators and manufacturers of creative video technology including the supporting software and hardware. It is one of the companies excelling in the world of design, manufacturing and marketing/selling of their proprietary handheld and lightweight TV and other digital cameras. Their manufacturing team is mastering more than thirty processes to bring their products to market including one involved in the application of carbon fibre polycarbonate composite materials. Who is aware that we have these capabilities in Australia and how could we apply this approach to other market segments?

It is a good example of the combination of digitisation and the freedom in design because of the nature and features of plastic materials.

Our next event will be on Tuesday 23rd March and will feature under the “Plastics make it happen” motto an introductory presentation on a spin-off company from Flinders University called 3RT.

See our website:

Don’t forget to attend the 10 Episodes series on recycling organised by RACI with support by the Society of the Chemical Industry and our SPE: A-NZ Section. The next one will be Episode 2 on “Plastics’ Frontiers: The Big Challenge – Human Behaviour” to be held on 2nd March from 7.30 pm onwards. Registration via the RACI website:

The Section has also contributed to the new and updated VET PMB courses for the Plastics, Rubber and Cable Making industries. More about this subject in our next Newsletter.

Keep safe and stay healthy!

With kind regards,

Han Michel


SPE: A-NZ Section Ltd

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