$140 million to eliminate plastic pollution


Wednesday, 13 December, 2023

$140 million to eliminate plastic pollution

The Australian Government has allocated $40 million to the Solving Plastic Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in its current CRC program selection round. Combined with contributions from partners, this makes the total resources available to the project worth $140.6 million.

CRC programs are identified as university-guided projects that engage with industry and government. Solving Plastic Waste was one of two national CRCs to secure funding in the latest round.

The successful bid was led by Griffith University and brings together 11 Australian universities, CSIRO and more than 33 industry and other end-user partners.

“Plastics play a major role in the global economy, benefiting a wide range of industries like agriculture, health care, packaging, construction and transportation,” said the CRC’s Interim CEO, Dr Ian Dagley.

“But the existing linear plastic value chain is unsustainable. It sees most of the end-of-life value of plastics lost and the result is plastic waste pollution, which poses a major environmental challenge.”

Solving Plastic Waste CRC Research Director Professor Chengrong Chen from Griffith University said the Solving Plastic Waste CRC would work with the plastic sector to accelerate Australia’s progress towards eliminating plastic pollution, establishing a circular and climate-neutral plastic economy while growing its advanced manufacturing sector.

“It will deliver major economic and environmental benefits and support training for careers in Australia’s transformed plastics industry,” Chen said.

The project will focus on:

  • materials and design — to reduce products’ environmental impact;
  • maximising the recovery and value of end-of-life plastics;
  • implementing a circular economy for plastics in Australia;
  • mitigating the risk of microplastics in agricultural soils.
     

“It is with tremendous pride and excitement that Griffith University has led the development of the Solving Plastic Waste bid through to successful endorsement by the federal government, and we acknowledge the tireless efforts and commitments made by our partner universities and industries,” said Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans.

“The plastics value chain is fundamental to advanced manufacturing, packaging, food and groceries, as well as the waste and resource recovery sector,” Evans said.

“Through its activities, the CRC will contribute to the global competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industry,” she continued.

“It will deliver new technology, skills and regional solutions to grow sustainable businesses and new markets, creating a valuable circular economy and a cleaner and safer environment.”

For more information, visit https://www.solvingplasticwastecrc.com.

Image credit: iStock.com/Wirestock

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