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

Continental builds low-emission interior trim factory in China

January 26, 2015 12:33 pm ET

Benecke-Kaliko AG is making the largest investment in its history to build an environmentally friendly auto interior trim plant in China, prompted by ...    More

Image

Major packaging merger includes plastics operations

January 26, 2015 12:24 pm ET

A merger of packaging companies MeadWestvaco Corp. and Rock-Tenn Inc. will create a new company with nearly $16 billion in annual sales.    More

Image

J6 Polymers to buy Stepan unit

January 26, 2015 12:22 pm ET

NORTHFIELD, ILL. — Stepan Co. plans to sell its specialty polyurethanes systems business to J6 Polymers LLC in a cash deal.    More

Image

UK legislators debate fracking

January 26, 2015 12:19 pm ET

LONDON — An influential group of members of Parliament has called for a moratorium to be imposed on fracking for shale gas as politicians...    More

Image

Oxo-biodegradable lobby slams 'scaremongering'

January 26, 2015 12:16 pm ET

Single-use plastic carrier bags made from biodegradable material should be exempted from the government’s proposed 5p-a-bag levy in England, sup...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

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

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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