Knowledge and data pitches

July 6th, 2023

Turning commitments to reduce plastic waste pollution into actions [pdf] Anh Dang Nguyet (Vietnam National Plastic Action Partnership)

Realizing an initiative of the World Economic +A6:F6Forum (WEF), the Viet Nam National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) together with few other pioneering NPAPs is a national multi-stakeholder platform established under the strategic partnership between the WEF’s Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP)i and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) to tackle plastic pollution and promote plastic circularity in Viet Nam. Through the NPAP, international and national opportunities for collaboration are identified and leveraged to support the implementation of Viet Nam ambitious national targets on plastic reduction by 2030. During its two year operation, the NPAP has commissioned diagnostic exercises, provided a national roadmap considerations for Viet Nam to reach its national goals for dealing with plastic waste pollution, and developed an intersectional gender context assessment of the plastic value chain report. The NPAP’s efforts foster the translation of global commitments into specific actions at the national level and contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Bridging the gap – Methods to demonstrate impact and value to funders [pdf] – Tom McColl (Strategic Development Group)

We all value and understand the need for data-informed decision making by government and industry, though it sometimes feels like we’re speaking different languages. There’s often a gap between research objectives and funder expectations for achieving demonstratable impact or ‘results’, with implementing partners straining to demonstrate the pathways to impact and satisfy funder expectations. Through our work with governments and industry leaders across Australia, including CSIRO, Strategic Development Group has developed a deep understanding of how to bridge the gap in expectations between funders and implementing partners. This session will focus on models and methods to plan, demonstrate and communicate pathways to impact to a variety of stakeholders and importantly, funders. The session will outline the benefits of Impact Pathway planning, Theory of Change and using data-based storytelling to demonstrate impact and build understanding and shared value with funders.

Tracking macro-plastic accumulation areas with Argos drifters and operational drift modelling [pdf] – Oliver Palin (CLS Oceania)

The Indonesian archipelago is rated globally the second contributor to marine plastic litter pollution. This has driven the government to increase its efforts to combat plastic pollution, on land, in rivers and in the ocean. Lack of systematic collection means that it often ends up in rivers and ultimately into the seas. With funding from the World Bank, the government of Indonesia set up an initiative to track the movement of plastic through a hybrid observation & model approach to determine the location of accumulation areas. The project deployed and tracked 24 Argos drifters over a year and set up a series of drift model simulations. Three river mouths were studied, located downstream from populated areas. Results showed that the movement of plastic litter is highly seasonal in the area and that in some cases, the plastic litter can escape the coastal environment into the deep ocean. Major onshore accumulation areas were identified. These represent priority areas where the marine litter should be collected.

Enhancing uPVC recycling [pdf] – Jack Fitzgerald (Think Fencing)

[no abstract available] 

The role of biodegradable plastics in tracking plastic waste – Challenges and potential solutions [pdf] – Clement Chan (The University of Queensland)

Governments worldwide, including Australia, are implementing strategies to tackle the alarming accumulation of persistent plastic waste in the environment. To aid this transition, new ‘biodegradable’ materials are being rapidly introduced into the market. However, determining the role that the concept of ‘biodegradability’ could or should play from practical, policy, and regulatory perspectives is complex and lacks a clear solution. A holistic analysis of the state of play in terms of scientific knowledge, policy, and expectations identified confusion in terminology, a lack of clear policy and legislative regulation, the need for more consistent labelling, and limitations on waste management options as the key gaps and challenges. To address these challenges, a multi-faceted approach is required, involving the collection of scientific research to improve the understanding of biodegradation processes across environments, as well as the impact of plastic additives, information awareness campaigns, trustworthy quality assurance measures such as standards and labelling systems, and compliance enforcement through regulations.

Breaking Down Plastic Waste: Assessing the Environmental Impact of Chemical recycling Processes [pdf] Cao Ngoc Tu Xaychak (CSIRO)

Chemical recycling is overlooked as a way to alleviate our plastic waste issue due to the perceived high energy demand. However, given that many plastic types cannot be mechanically recycled, chemical recycling presents an opportunity to bridge this gap. Thus, this project is dedicated to developing a centralised life cycle inventory (LCI) database for common chemical recycling technologies and use this database to establish life cycle impacts of these processes. Life cycle assessment (LCA) results indicated that plastic depolymerisation is the most environmental-friendly chemical recycling process due to the low energy usage and its ability to produce virgin-grade plastics. Plastic pyrolysis is also a favourable option as the petrochemicals produced from this technology more than compensated for its enormous heat requirement. Conversely, gasification of plastic waste did not produce sufficient syngas to justify its extremely high electricity demands. Results from this work can be used by policymakers and technology developers to promote the adoption of chemical recycling.