Recycling ‘sweet spot’ heralds National Plastics Summit

plastics summit

An idea born from the first National Plastics Summit will see Tasmanian-based Cadbury Australia launch a breakthrough in recycled packaging.

In Hobart last week, Sussan Ley, Minister for the Environment visited Cadbury Australia to see the latest trials of recycled plastic packaging and announce that a National Plastics Design Summit will be held in Canberra next year on February 14.

“The summit will focus on designing reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic products in every-day applications and I am challenging companies to come forward armed with ideas and clear commitments,” Ley said.

“We simply can’t keep creating virgin plastic on the scale we are today and this summit will look at keeping plastics in use as long and as often as possible, adding value to the material multiple times. The summit will explore opportunities to unlock growth for new industries and new markets.

“Cadbury has committed to purchasing enough recycled plastic packaging to wrap 50 million family blocks of chocolate. The latest prototypes unveiled today show that change is possible and that markets are there for recycled product.

“This exciting development in recycling soft plastics can be traced back to collaboration between companies at the first national waste summit in 2020 and collaboration with industry is at the heart of our transformation of Australia’s recycling industry.

“Australia has set National Packaging Targets for 2025 including a 20 per cent average of recycled content in plastic packaging and the key to achieving those will be driving innovation rather than regulation.

“As we continue to work with consumers and industry in expanding local recycling capability, the goal will be to process more and more recycled plastic in Australia.”

Darren O’Brien, President of Mondilez International (Aust, NZ, Japan), the owners of Cadbury Australia, said that while Cadbury was accessing the very latest technology from overseas to source recycled material, it was focused on creating demand for recycled product.

“We know that demand for circular packaging will continue to grow and we’d love to see recycling technology built in Australia,” O’Brien said. “Our significant investment gives local industry the confidence it needs to invest in advanced recycling technology that will be vital for Australia to achieve a truly circular economy.”

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