Australia’s plastics law reform ‘at risk’

By Kate Tilley
Correspondent

Published: December 26, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Public Policy, Suppliers, Sustainability

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (Dec. 26, 10:50 a.m. ET) —Ă‚ Australia’s proposed national plastic and chemical regulations, designed to streamline laws across the country, might never become a reality, Australia’s reform council has warned.

The country’s peak intergovernmental forum, the Council of Australian Governments in Canberra, wants to introduce the proposed harmonized laws. COAG recognized chemicals and plastics policy is a regulatory “hotspot” in February 2006 and agreed existing regulation is fragmented because it is administered by multiple agencies across all government levels.

In 2008, COAG agreed to introduce reforms reducing the chemicals and plastics industries’ regulatory compliance burden. COAG agreed gaps, inconsistencies and duplication in the regulatory framework have created inefficient management of hazard identification and risk.

In a December report the COAG Reform Council (CRC), which was established to help COAG with its reform agenda, warned that ongoing delays have reached a point where “we are not confident the [plastics and chemicals] reform will be delivered.”

The council said the federal government has not yet completed two targets set for June 2010, and governments collectively have not completed other milestones.

In April, Australia’s Plastics and Chemical Industries Association (PACIA) CEO Margaret Donnan said it had been four years since COAG agreed reform was needed, yet there had been little or no progress in its implementation.

“Australia is missing out on newer, better, safer, more sustainable chemical and plastic products and technologies,” Donnan said.

She said there are 144 pieces of legislation across Australia specifically related to chemicals and plastics, on top of all the other regulatory burdens facing industry more broadly.

“The enormous cost [and] lengthy delays in gaining approvals, combined with Australia’s relatively small market, means companies simply cannot justify manufacturing and importing improved new products for supply to Australian industry and consumers,” Donnan said. “In some cases, the regulatory cost is greater than the product unit cost.”

Plastics News sought Donnan’s response to the council’s warning, but the association’s media spokeswoman did not respond.

COAG was created in 1992 to identify and implement nationally significant policy reforms requiring coordinated action by all Australian governments. Members are Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and premiers and chief ministers from all states and territories.

COAG’s final 2012 meeting was Dec. 7. COAG said it would respond to CRC’s summary report at its first 2013 meeting and consider action required to manage its chemicals and plastics reform concerns.


Comments

Australia’s plastics law reform ‘at risk’

By Kate Tilley
Correspondent

Published: December 26, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

FTC warns bag makers to take care before making biodegradeability claims

October 23, 2014 12:30 pm ET

Makers of oxodegradable or oxo-biodegradable plastic bags should consider themselves on notice, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.    More

Image

Westlake adding ethylene capacity in Louisiana

October 23, 2014 9:54 pm ET

Westlake Chemical Corp. will add 250 million pounds of annual ethane-based ethylene capacity as part of a $330 million expansion project in Lake...    More

Image

PolyOne increases quarterly profits despite falling sales

October 23, 2014 4:55 pm ET

North American compounding leader PolyOne Corp. saw its third-quarter profit increase, even as sales fell vs. the year-ago period.    More

Image

Packaging specialist Amcor hits sustainability goals ahead of schedule

October 23, 2014 11:15 am ET

Global packaging company Amcor Ltd. has achieved its waste reduction goals two years ahead of schedule, according to the company's new sustainability ...    More

Image

Total picks new management following CEO's death in crash

October 23, 2014 11:03 am ET

Total SA has picked a new management team to oversee the company in the wake of a plane crash in Moscow that killed its chairman and CEO earlier this ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events