Are we sleepwalking or managing our plastics future?

July 4th, 2024

Presentation by Helen Millicer (One Planet Consulting)

Australia is a manufacturer of resin, products, consumer and exporter. We have high consumption, high disposal and low recovery rates. If we were to score our current performance it might rate 3/10. Australia is finally waking up to the wide array of well-developed levers activated in highly productive economies that are consequently far better prepared for the future, and with better circularity, productivity and lower emissions.

In this presentation I outline actions we must continue to pursue in strategy, policy, regulations, economic and ed/training areas if we really want to reach targets, improve our management of the complex and necessary material stream of plastics. And this is all the while the external world is highly competitive, volatile and environmental constraints are bearing down. This requires agreed action on local production, import standards, mandated bans, recyclability and content targets, new financial measures such as levies, and cross-party consensus in industry and government strategy. Such measures can contribute to improved design, investment, confidence and a more sustainable future.