Our Vision

The Plastic Waste CRC will rethink the way we design, use, and reuse plastics to create a
viable and valuable circular economy for plastic, and a cleaner, safer environment.

The Challenge

Australia’s plastic waste challenge is complex and multi-faceted, and encompasses the:

  • Ubiquity of plastics in modern life;
  • Complexity and diversity of plastic materials;
  • Global nature of plastics supply chains and waste flows;
  • Imperatives of improving design, changing behaviour, and developing new business models; and
  • Demands of establishing waste collection, processing and reuse systems at scale in urban, regional and remote settings.

Collectively, this requires cross-disciplinary research and collaboration with industry, governments and the community to accelerate the development of a viable circular economy for plastics

The Opportunity

A viable circular economy for plastic delivering new revenue streams across the plastic lifecycle, resulting in:

  • Significant growth in plastic recycling
  • Dramatic reductions in plastic sent to landfill
  • Major reductions in plastic leakage and environmental pollution
  • The elimination of single use plastics
  • Novel and commercial material and packaging options
  • New commercial remanufacturing and reuse markets and enterprises
  • Commercial-scale feedstock recycling connecting the waste and manufacturing sectors
  • Novel technologies for SME commercialisation and delivery
  • Collaborative engagement with community, business and consumer advocacy groups

Proposed Research Programs

Key Stakeholder Interests

Stakeholders throughout the plastic lifecycle will benefit from participation in the Plastic Waste CRC

  • Manufacturers – looking to develop, use and reuse new sustainable materials, and create new markets
  • Brand owners – looking for novel sustainable packaging solutions
  • Packaging companies – seeking alternative, effective and sustainable solutions
  • Retailers – developing more sustainable supply chains for their customers
  • Waste Management companies – exploring novel, efficient and effective plastic sorting technologies
  • Recycling operators – seeking scalable, economic and efficient solutions, and commercial value from plastic
  • Public and Private enterprises – wishing to advance their social license to operate, and address sector-specific challenges (e.g. hospital, agricultural, textile, mixed and e-waste etc.)
  • SMEs – servicing the needs of industry and wanting to capitalise on the development of a circular economy for plastic
  • Business and industry advocacy groups – investigating sustainable and commercially viable solutions on behalf of members
  • Local Government Authorities – seeking plastic-specific solutions to key waste challenges
  • State Government Agencies – seeking solutions and pathways to NWPAP1 targets
  • Consumer and community groups – wanting to engage with world class research and help to promote local action

In-Principle Foundation Partners

APCO
WPO
NRA
AIEN
AORA
KAB
NRM
GU
CQU
SCU
USQ
UTS
UWA