A-NZ President letter

SPE: A-NZ Newsletter by the President


Two main subjects will be presented in this Newsletter. The first one is covering the Plastics Plan by the Federal Government and the second one deals with the local ANTEC® 2021 Awards in view of the global SPE flagship event: ANTEC® 2021.

The Federal Government published its Plastics Plan in early March 2021 as a result of the Plastics Summit held in Canberra on 2nd March 2020. What follows is for a part taken directly from the Plastics Plan.


The plastics industry should be grateful for this Plan. In this excerpt I want to emphasise two actions of the 5 fronts which the Government is tackling under the plastic challenge.


These are the phase out of single use plastic materials set for the packaging industry by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation for 2025 and the regulation regarding the exports of mixed plastic waste.


The latter became law in December 2020 under the Australian Federal Government’s Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020 and puts in place Australia’s world-leading waste export ban. This new legislation bans the export of unsorted mixed plastics from 1 July 2021 and unprocessed single polymer or resin plastics from 1 July 2022.


The Government is working with industry to fast-track the phase-out of particularly difficult to recycle waste plastic products which often end up as litter. This will result in the phase out of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic by 2025 as part of the National Packaging Targets.


The other two actions mentioned here are related to unprecedented investments to turbo-charge Australia’s plastic recycling capacity, and recycled content.


The Recycling Modernisation Fund, the National Waste Policy Action Plan, and future funding under the Modern Manufacturing Strategy, will underpin a dramatic increase in Australia’s domestic recycling capacity.


This will drive a $1 billion transformation of Australia’s recycling industry and will create approximately 10,000 new jobs.


With regard to increasing the use of recycled content, a first step has been made by the Government. The Australian Government has amended the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and updated its Sustainable Procurement Guide to ensure that recycled material will be used.


Action is not limited to Governments as businesses and consumers also need to buy products made from recycled material. The packaging industry has an overall target of 50% of average

recycled content included in packaging (with 20% for plastic packaging) by 2025.


The Section is proud that it could offer also in 2021 a number of Awards, with the support of AutodeskÒ Australia, as a competition for students of A-NZ who submitted a research paper for presentation at ANTEC® 2021. This effort was spearheaded by the Section’s Education Chair, Dr. Firoozeh Pourjavaheri, and means the completion of one of our projects for 2020-2021.


The winners of the ANTEC® 2021 Awards are:

1. 1st prize of AUD$1,500: Hima Haridevan from the University of Queensland;

2. 2nd prize of AUD$1,000: Mai Dang from Swinburne University of Technology;

3. 3rd prize of AUD$500: Avishek Chanda from the University of Auckland/NZ.


The Section has also offered a fourth prize to a research paper by Manan Maniar from Swinburne University of Technology which prize is consisting of free entry tickets to the remaining webinars for 2021 organised by the SPE: A-NZ Section.


The Section would like to take this opportunity to thank the panel for the ANTEC® 2021 Awards with as judges: Associate Professor Jonathan Campbell from Flinders University, Dr. Ehsan Bafekrpour, formerly from RMIT University, Associate Professor Thomas Fiedler from the University of Newcastle, Dr. Russell Speight from Autodesk Australia and Professor Russell Varley from Deakin University.


ANTEC® 2021 will begin on Wednesday, 5th May 2021 (please note the change in date) and will again enjoy a huge number of registrations from all over the globe. See: www.4spe.org


The local Section will have its next webinar on Thursday 22nd April at 12.15 pm AEST on Building & Construction with presentations by Chris Whiting from Branz/New Zealand and Craig Lovel from Huntsman Polyurethanes and, under the banner of “Plastics make it happen”, a presentation by Mike Junger of Vaxxas. See: www.plastics.org.au


The Section continues to collaborate with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute as leading organisation and Association of Chemical Industry for the webinar series of 10 Episodes on Recycling; the next webinar in this series will be on Tuesday 4th May at 7.30 pm AEST.

Keep safe and stay healthy!


With kind regards,

Han Michel

President

SPE: A-NZ Section Ltd

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