Vision and Mission

The Plastic Waste CRC will drive game-changing industry research and collaboration across the entire plastics value chain transforming the way plastics are designed, manufactured, used, recovered, recycled and how plastic pollution is remediated, by developing new materials, products, technologies, processes and systems.

It will deliver new jobs, skills and regional solutions by growing sustainable businesses and new markets, whilst creating a valuable circular economy for plastics resulting in a cleaner and safer environment.

Our research will unite, incentivise and galvanise industry and stakeholder action to deliver national waste targets and build the capabilities to make Australia a global leader in plastics manufacturing, recycling and reprocessing.

Our bid

The remarkable support from our Partners in Round 23 saw us secure cash commitments of approximately $47 million and in-kind contributions of around $87 million. For Round 24 we aim to raise $50 million in cash funding and significant in-kind, which combined with Commonwealth funding request could see the value of our CRC close to $180 million over 10 years.

Our partners

The Australian plastics value chain is complex, comprising a diverse array of upstream and downstream stakeholders of varying scale, sophistication and business interest. Partners joining our bid span raw material suppliers; manufacturers and converters; retailers and brand owners; local government authorities; waste management and recycling companies; State government agencies; Industry bodies; non-government organisations; and universities.

Why a Plastic Waste CRC?

A national and strategic approach to finding and developing solutions to challenges associated with our use of plastics is essential.

Accelerated by market and policy pressure to reduce waste and emissions, Australian businesses are well positioned to become competitive global players through innovation and collaborative R&D. The Plastic Waste CRC will provide a platform to unite and galvanise key stakeholders to jointly develop leading solutions that promote accountability for our own plastic waste.

The CRC’s ability to deliver outstanding research, education and training opportunities, and build capabilities throughout the value chain, will be unrivalled. No current collaborative forum offers a platform and opportunity to address the plastic waste challenge at a sovereign level, working in harmony across the plastics value chain to enable a national outcome that can position Australia as a global leader.

Our research

Our research will incentivise industry action to deliver national waste targets, positioning Australia at the forefront of plastics design, manufacturing, models of reuse, recycling and reprocessing. It will serve as a significant platform in supporting the achievement of Australia’s Plastics Plan and National Waste Action Plan targets.

Our outputs

Key outputs will include:

  • new plastics that can be manufactured using Australian sourced renewable materials and valorisation principles
  • demonstration of economically viable innovative systems, products, materials and technologies for reuse, remanufacture and recycling
  • plastic material flow and recycling information apps, evidence-based decision support tools, and education and behaviour change tools
  • innovative and valuable circular business models
  • new systems thinking to inform avoidance of plastic usage and therefore waste
  • new approaches and technologies to detect, remove and remediate plastic pollutants
    guidance to inform the setting of industry standards

The CRC’s critical legacy will be PhD students and researchers who are well trained, possessing industry-led experience and who can become leaders in the new circular economy for plastics.

Next steps

We are waiting for Round 24 of the CRC Program to open which is expected in late July or early August 2022.

In the meantime, we are working with our Round 23 partners in preparation for the next Round and welcoming new partners to join the bid in the next few months.

What is a CRC?

The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Program is a Commonwealth Government program providing grants for up to 10 years.
CRCs are independent entities, established and governed as incorporated companies limited by guarantee and comprise industry led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community. The focus is on research and development that will have commercial uses. The CRC program aims to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries, especially in government priority areas, use high quality research to solve industry identified problems, and encourage SMEs to take part in collaborative research.
With more than 230 CRCs being funded since the program’s commencement, the Australian Government has committed more than $4.8B in CRC funding.


The Plastic Waste CRC will be established as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. It will be governed by an independent skills-based board. The CRC will establish Consultative Committees for each Research Program and for Partners.
The CRC will maintain a flexible approach in considering options for ownership and use of IP beyond a default position of the Plastic Waste CRC owning the legal title to the IP, with alternative arrangements stipulated in Project Agreements. The CRC will have two participant categories, one for research institutes and the other for non-research institutes such as industry and government.
The Plastic Waste CRC has a draft term sheet, developed in consultation with participants, which articulates the governance and management of the CRC. The draft Term Sheet will form part of the package of information made available to CRC partners.