In October 2003 the Environment Protection and Heritage Council, comprised of Australian Environment Ministers, agreed to initiate the development of Australian Standards for Degradable Plastics by Standards Australia.
The need for Australian Standards was clearly articulated in the recommendations of two consultancy reports titled Biodegradable Plastics - Developments and Environmental Impacts and The Impact of Degradable Plastics Bags in Australia.
That report focused on degradable plastic bags, but its results are applicable to the full range of degradable plastics products. Thus the standards development process will address degradable plastic materials with a view to their potential use in a wide variety of product applications.
Standards Australia has been requested to develop the Australian Standards through its well-established and respected processes. These are based on technically robust, consensus-based and inclusive decision-making. Standards Australia is recognised through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Government as the peak non-government standards development body in Australia. It represents Australia in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The first task for Standards Australia was to establish Technical Committee EV-017 Degradability of Plastics, which is made up of individuals chosen by representative stakeholder organisations. This committee will prepare draft Australian Standards for degradable plastics and seek public comment on these draft standards.
The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts is Chairing EV-017. The Queensland and Australian Capital Territory environment departments are also among those organisations represented. The first meeting of EV-017 was held on 20 May 2004 in Sydney, representing a major step forward in the formal recognition of degradable plastics in Australia.
For further information please contact Suzanne Wellham by email email@example.com or phone (02) 8206 6821.