It has been a while since you have received a Newsletter from your SPE: A-NZ Section President. I am afraid that COVID-19 has been taking over everyone’s attention, including mine. Despite this, I recommend that you focus on your immediate environments such as family and friends. We hope that there will be a time in the coming weeks that they will be the centre of attention, so set time aside and enjoy nature and the fresh air to make this happen together with them and relax.
SPE in general can look back on a successful 2020 in which the Society managed to change its main event, ANTEC® 2020, into a virtual event. ANTEC® 2021 will also be a virtual event with participation by at least four PhD students from ANZ who are competing for the best submitted paper and awards supported by Autodesk®. The other big change in SPE is the switch from “The Chain” to “SPE Communities” which is more inclusive and catering better to the non-technical part of our plastics community. Join “ANTEC® 2021 Industry Insights” on 22nd-23rd March and hear more about the global outlook for the plastics industry? See: www.4spe.org
Your own Section can also look back on a successful year in which we maintained contact with all of you by changing our seminars into webinars after February 2020. Our Annual SPE: A-NZ Conference “Plastics and the Circular Economy - The Virtual Edition” was an enormously successful event. The Section will have a complete program of webinars in 2021 which will include our Annual Conference in November. We will commence with a webinar “Design” on Wednesday 10th February.
Your Committee of Management has developed a 10-point action program for 2021 of which four are included in this Newsletter. The program will include an effort through our members employed by polymer converting companies to encourage more of these companies to join Operation Clean Sweep. Operation Clean Sweep is supported by the independent Tangaroa Blue Foundation and Product Stewardship Australia, an initiative by Chemistry Australia. More information will follow.
For our plastics industry in Australia, the first major challenge in 2021 will be the ban on exports of mixed plastics waste which will come into force on 1st July 2021. Substantial commitments of investment in recycling capacity are required to manage plastics waste in a better way in the future.
For those of you who have not renewed your SPE membership in 2020 yet why not do so now (see: www.spe.org) and remain a member of the SPE: A-NZ Section plastics community.
May we wish you, family and friends, all the best for the Festive Season and we look forward to seeing you again in 2021.
With kind regards,
SPE: A-NZ Section Ltd