Delegation of the European Union to Australia

Is plastic fantastic? DESIGN Canberra Dialogue, 16 November

28/10/2019 - 00:55

EU Ambassador to Australia Michael Pulch joins the panel discussion on the drivers, challenges and opportunities behind eliminating single-use plastics. Kicking off at 11 am on Saturday 16 November, the panel will explore contemporary issues and ideas on sustainability and resource efficiency, and aim to answer the question: Is Plastic fantastic?

The European Union (EU) Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy is the first EU-wide policy framework adopting a material-specific lifecycle approach to integrate circular design, use, reuse and recycling activities into plastics value chains. The strategy sets out a clear vision with quantified objectives at EU level, so that inter alia by 2030 all plastic packaging placed on the EU market is reusable or recyclable.


To boost the market for recycled plastics, the European Commission launched a voluntary pledging campaign on recycled plastics. 70 companies have already made pledges, which will increase the market for recycled plastics by at least 60% by 2025. However, there is still a gap between supply and demand for recycled plastics. To close this gap, the Commission launched the Circular Plastics Alliance of key industry stakeholders supplying and using recycled plastics.


The rules on Single-Use Plastics items and fishing gear, addressing the ten most found items on EU beaches, place the EU at the forefront of the global fight against marine litter. The measures include a ban of certain single-use products made of plastic (such as straws and cutlery) when alternatives are available and of oxo-degradable plastic, and propose actions for others such as consumption reduction targets, product design requirements and Extended Producers Responsibility schemes. Legislation underpinning this was adopted earlier this year.

The Is Plastic fantastic? panel discussion will be held at  Commonwealth Place in the inflatable transparent, lightweight and mobile shell structures MEDUSA designed by the Berlin based acclaimed design studio Plastique Fantastique. The installation will revitalise the waterfront inviting the citizens into the creative process with programs organised by Design Canberra Festival. 


Plastique Fantastique MEDUSA Installation
Commonwealth Place, Parkes