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

Government

End Users

Materials and Manufacturing

Recycling and Waste Management

Professional Services and Consulting

Industry Bodies and NGO’s

AIEN
AORA
APCO
KAB
WPO

Research Partners

GU
CQU
SCU
USQ
UTS
UWA