Smart plastics make the circular economy go round

Smart plastics make the circular economy go round

Smarter sustainable solutions may be on the horizon for the Australasian waste and recycling landscape.

This year there’s been a strong focus on waste and recycling, kicked off by China’s ban on foreign waste products in January and followed by the waste industry suffering the outcome of this decision and scrambling to deal with the crisis. The Chinese ban, which will be fully implemented early next year, affects an annual average of 619,000 tonnes of materials — worth $523 million — in Australia alone.

Smarter plastics needed to improve circular economy

One of the UK’s leading plastics experts, Dr John Williams from Aquapak Polymers, is renowned for his views on plastics. Williams acknowledges that the waste management industry today is terrible at disposing of plastics and urges societies to move towards more intelligent materials that are not only designed for front-end functionality but also for backend circular economy principles of recovery.

With so many changes in the world of plastics over the past 12 months, Williams will be discussing the New Generation of Smart Plastics (plastics that are able to adapt to the environment around them through their sensitivity to a variety of factors such as pH, temperature and intensity of light) and their integration into current waste and recycling programs at the Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE) as part of the event’s Speaker Series program.

Dr John Williams.

“At this crucial point in Australia’s environmental landscape, this forum is vital to explore ways to help minimise the impact and maximise the value from waste in an effort to help build a more stable and sustainable future. A key component of this is looking at how smart plastics meet the needs of the consumer, supply chain and future generations,” said Williams.

On 29 and 30 August in Sydney, industry experts from the likes of the Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association of NSW, Local Government NSW, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) and the National Waste and Recycling Industry Council (NWRIC) will join other industry experts discussing sustainable waste management solutions to reduce, re-use, recycle and recover waste, as well as strategies and insights to inform waste management operations and meet environmental targets.

Find out more about the latest sustainable products, most topical trends, developments and strategies for the Australasian waste and recycling landscape at AWRE on 29 and 30 August 2018 at ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour.

Industry professionals can find out more and register free to attend Sydney’s waste and recycling industry event.

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