The Solving Plastic Waste Cooperative Research Centre was today announced as one of the successful Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) to be supported by the Federal Government.  

Minister for Industry and Science The Honourable Ed Husic confirmed the Solving Plastic Waste CRC, one of two national CRCs to be funded in the current CRC Program selection round, would be established with $40 million in federal funding. The total resources available to the Solving Plastic Waste CRC is valued at $140.6 million, including the CRC Program grant and contributions from partners. 

The bid was led by Griffith University and brings together industry, government and the research sector to establish a CRC that will assist in solving Australia’s plastic waste problem by enhancing end-user driven collaboration which addresses the current challenges across the entire plastics value chain.  

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

“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 will 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.”  

The Solving Plastic Waste CRC is a collaboration involving eleven Australian universities, CSIRO and more than 33 industry and other end user partners. CRC research programs, identified through engaging with industry and government, 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. 

Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said the Solving Plastic Waste CRC would serve as an essential bridge between industry, researchers, and governments, demonstrating the University’s commitment to providing solutions to humankind’s great challenges.

“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,” Professor Evans said. 

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

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

“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.” 

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11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
UN Sustainable Development Goals 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

12: Responsible Consumption and Production
UN Sustainable Development Goals 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

13: Climate Action
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14: Life Below Water
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