National Plastics Summit

Well, that’s the inaugural National Plastics Summit done and dusted and thanks to all involved in staging, attending and promoting this overdue forum for discussion across a range of stakeholders.

The big take away’s from my perspective was the intent that was committed from the opening address by our Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison. For those of us that heard it, he did make a few interesting and perhaps promising comments with respect to the waste issue.

“It’s our waste – it’s our responsibility and we need to take ownership.”

But perhaps my favourite was the commentary associated with the broader public perceptions on the real effectiveness of recycling…….” we are getting ripped off – the promise to recycle needs to be honoured by those making it and entrusted with the task….”

This struck a chord many times throughout the breakout sessions across the day, and more than once the complexity of a dysfunctional system across each state, and a lack of understanding of what goes into what bin in which region and which council, was a talking point with real relevance.

The need for a truly functional nationally standardised program across all states, will allow for real effectiveness in the future debates. But it will also allow for some practical strategy when we extend beyond plastics recycling and get to the good stuff – proper paper recycling.

We talked a lot yesterday about the need for plastics recycling and managing the waste streams, but we didn’t get to what are the alternatives to plastic (in specific markets) and that next level of discussion will deliver a whole new range of opportunities and challenges.

Jon Williams

Managing Director

Alliance Paper Pty Ltd

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