Australia’s plastics law reform ‘at risk’

By Kate Tilley
Correspondent

Published: December 26, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Public Policy, Materials, Suppliers

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

California lawmakers give final approval to plastic bag ban

August 30, 2014 6:00 am ET

Under the measure, single-use plastic bags will be barred from California retailers, including grocery stores, convenience stores and drug stores, as ...    More

Image

Poor plastic coating prompts cable recall

August 29, 2014 2:10 pm ET

Australia's competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has ordered a major recall of 2,485 miles of electrical ...    More

Image

EPA fines RI polymer company

August 29, 2014 1:20 pm ET

A Rhode Island polymer manufacturer has reached a $60,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating federal clean...    More

Image

Haitian's standardization efforts paying off

August 29, 2014 9:53 am ET

Streamlined design efforts and robust export sales helped propel Ningbo, China-based injection molding machine manufacturer Haitian International...    More

Image

Updating a travel icon for the professional millennial

August 29, 2014 11:44 am ET

As part of a drive to expand its customer base to include more millennials, Airstream Inc. turned to the Columbus College of Art & Design's MindMarket...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events