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The Future of Plastics and the Circular Economy

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

The Annual Plastics and Waste Conference organised by the Australia-New Zealand Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers for Thursday, 21st November, 2019 has reached its tenth year. This Conference will be held at the Pullman Hotel on the Park at East Melbourne and has as title “The Future of Plastics and the Circular Economy”.

The Conference will provide an overview of the state of the plastics recycling industry in Australia and with the help of the Global SPE organisation will also bring the latest in technology from Europe and the UK.

Since last year the industry has stepped up its investment in equipment and there is a great deal of good news. APCO and WMRR, represented by the CEO’s of these organisations, will address the Conference about the future and targets for recycled content. The converting industry and brand owners have created a pull in the supply chain. Already now there is an increase in the companies stating that their plastics packaging products contain recycled content and the numbers will significantly increase this year.

Let’s all work together so we can report even better progress in 2020.


Date/Time: Thursday 21st November 2019, 7:45 am to 7:00 pm

Venue: Pullman Melbourne on the Park, East Melbourne, Victoria



7:45 am

Registration at Hotel

8:20 am

Official Opening Conference

Han Michel, President SPE: A-NZ Section

8:30 am

Keynote: The Federal Government and Circularity

The Honorary Trevor Evans MP, the Federal Government Assistant Minister for Waste

Reduction and Environmental Management  

9:00 am

The opinion of the Australian public on plastic waste and its relevance in the transition to a

new plastics economy

Associate Professor Bronwyn Laycock, University of Queensland

9:30 am

Keynote: Solutions to waste plastics that are driving fundamental changes in the industry

Professor Edward Kosior, Managing Director, Nextek UK, by video

10.10 am:

The business case for building a circular economy

Mitchell Killeen, CEO, LyondellBasell Australia

10:30 am


11.00 am:

Recycling and Resource Recovery Infrastructure – Evidence Base Report October 2019

Karl Shanley, Strategy and Research, Infrastructure Victoria

11.30 am

Keynote: Towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets

Brooke Donnelly, CEO, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation

12:00 pm

Panel:  Bronwyn Laycock, Mitchell Killeen, Karl Shanley, Brooke Donnelly

12:30 pm


1:30 pm

Keynote: Improving waste recovery

Gayle Sloan, CEO, Waste Management & Resource Recovery Australia

2:00 pm

marPET – Australian circular recycling

Ben McCulloch, Sales Manager, Martogg, Dandenong

2:30 pm

Chemical Recycling for End of Life Plastics

Presentation by Professor Thomas Maschmeyer, University of Sydney and Steve Rogers delivered by Mike O’Shea, Biora, Melbourne

3:00 pm


3:30 pm

Keynote:  The Circular Future of Plastics - Challenges, Vision and Innovations from Europe

Francis Huysman, Co-Chair, European Plastics Recycling Organisations, Belgium

4:00 pm

How technologies assist in the transition to the Circular Economy

Eric Paulsen, Managing Director, Cemac Technologies, Seaford 

4:30 pm

Panel: Gayle Sloan, Ben McCulloch, Mike O’Shea, Francis Huysman, Eric Paulsen

5:00 pm


Han Michel, President SPE: A-NZ Section

5:30 – 7:00 pm

Refreshments and canapés

For more information, please contact: Han Michel, mobile 0416 168 255, email:

Conference Fee Structure

Registration fees in AUD$,  10% GST will need to be added

General remarks

The SPE: A-NZ Section retains the right to alter and/or substitute components to the event or program as deemed appropriate. Information which we supply in relation to the event is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of providing this information.

Event Sponsors

Advanced Plastic Recycling (APR) are a leading Australian designer and manufacturer of recycled wood plastic composite (WPC) products made from 50% post-consumer plastic and 50% post-industrial timber waste. This family-owned business has invested significantly in research and development, integrating reclaimed and recycled plastics and wood using the latest technologies.

APR prides itself on delivering quality WPC products that offer a sustainable timber alternative, and are used extensively in large and small projects Australia wide by State and Local Governments, for industrial, commercial, residential and custom design applications.

APR manufacture to world standards with round the clock manufacturing capabilities and has the ability to deliver solutions that are leading-edge without compromise in quality. With the ability for clients to order to length, wastage is minimised; in keeping with APR’s responsible approach to utilising resources efficiently.

Product types include but are not limited to furniture, boardwalks, decking, bollards, bridges, screening, sound walls and more.

Operation Clean Sweep® has a goal to help every plastic resin handling operation implement good housekeeping and pellet, flake, and powder containment practises to work towards achieving zero pellets, flake, and powder loss, protecting the environment and saving valuable resources.

CEMAC technologies offer a high level of engineering experience and proven technologies for the Circular Economy. With a focus on material resources, we offer over two decades of experience in Resource-Recovery, Plant Engineering and Equipment Design. Creating value for businesses and communities, we tailor cutting edge solutions incorporating the most up to date technologies.

Integrated Recycling (IR) manufactures a range of composite recycled plastics products at its Mildura factory in north western Victoria and is a subsidiary of Pro-Pac Packaging Limited an Australian publicly listed company (ASX: PPG). IR recovers end of primary use plastics, including polystyrene, principally from local agricultural and industrial sources making it a driver of the circular economy in its region. IR’s products are resistant to termites, rot, water and sun damage making them more durable than timber and are easy to work with. In a continuation of the sustainable initiatives that are a part of IR's DNA, IR has developed the Duratrack® recycled plastic railway sleeper, an Australian first technology.

Plastic Police® is a circular economy, community engagement program to collect, recycle and remanufacture soft plastics into useful products, preventing it from being landfilled or polluting our oceans.

Pact is a leading provider of specialty packaging solutions, servicing both consumer and industrial sectors.

Pact specialises in the manufacture and supply of rigid plastic and metal packaging, materials handling and pooling solutions, contract manufacturing services, recycling and sustainability services.

Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, Pact has an extensive manufacturing and supply network across Australasia. Pact caters to a diverse range of industries, including the food, dairy, beverage, agricultural, chemical and industrial sectors. We deliver products and services to a broad range of trusted global and regional brands.

With 2018 sales of EUR 14.6 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,800 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2018.

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