• Picture: Bo Eide.
    Picture: Bo Eide.

Australia will hold its first National Plastics Summit in March to address the growing problem of plastic waste.

Around 200 delegates from groups such as retailers, industry representatives, state and local governments, infrastructure companies, researchers, and school children will be invited to Canberra to take part in the summit.

According to Sussan Ley, federal Environment Minister, the summit is part of the Commonwealth’s commitment to reducing waste.

“It is time for a national conversation on an issue that is critical for our environment, our oceans, and our marine and birdlife.

“The summit will explore new methods of remanufacturing that will create jobs and build a wider understanding about the importance of recycling strategies,” said Ley.

Delegates will be invited to display solutions and mobilise actions, as well as address the goal of phasing out problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025 as part of the National Packaging Targets, said Ley.

“Consumer and community education will be a key focus, along with the role of school children and young adults in influencing household behaviour, and in highlighting the link between industry action and community interests.

“We will be looking for commitments from industry that will create jobs, research opportunities, education initiatives and practical community outcomes,” she said.

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has applauded the move, calling it a good start to the new year.

“The APCO team is looking forward to coming together with industry, government, and community to move forward on such an important community issue and find better ways to effectively manage plastic,” said APCO.

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