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The plug is now in the tub! Challenges and opportunities in plastics now the government has banned export of unprocessed plastics, with Helen Millicer
Episode 4128th September 2021 • PKN Packaging News: The Podcast • Yaffa Media
00:00:00 00:34:40

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In this episode, Lindy Hughson, managing editor & publisher of PKN Packaging News, talks with Helen Millicer, director at One Planet Consulting and a Churchill Fellow, on the fundamental changes required in Australia to meet the 2025 plastics packaging targets.

The discussion starts with the major challenges associated with litter polluting our oceans and importance of increasing reuse and recycling of plastics within Australia following the Australian government's world-first ban on exporting unprocessed plastics to other countries. A comparison is made with Europe where even the worst performing EU country is recycling plastic at levels far ahead of Australia.

Helen describes key changes introduced by Victoria in kerbside collection and plastic bags, celebrates the national actions to clean up plastics by removing single use disposable items, and calls for more collective and collaborative ventures for reusable packaging, and price incentives for recyclable packaging and costs for non-recyclables. New ways of thinking about packaging are required to increase return and reuse while government mandates will help to create incentives for reuse and recycled content.

The episode notes that Australia is one of few countries in the world blessed with the full plastics production supply chain on-shore which provides us a unique capacity for a more circular economy for plastics. Significant investment from government and private sources is increasing reprocessing facilities in Australia, but game changing initiatives are required in reuse, collection and reprocessing at scale or Australia will not meet its 2025 packaging targets.

We wrap up with a look at Helen's new work with the federal government, and the importance of collaboration, strategies, targets and financial incentives to bring about the changes required to increase reuse, repair and recycling across all product lines, not just plastics.


The PKN Podcast is produced by Southern Skies Media on behalf of PKN Packaging News, owned and published by Yaffa Media.

The views of the people featured on this podcast do not necessarily represent the views of PKN Packaging News, Yaffa Media, or the guest’s employer. The contents are copyright by Yaffa Media.

If you wish to use any of this podcast’s audio, please contact PKN Packaging News via their website or send an email to

MC: Grant McHerron

Host: Lindy Hughson

Producer: Steve Visscher

PKN Packaging News - © 2021





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