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Australia's chemistry industry collaborates for the PullingOurWeight global challenge to reduce plastic waste - 29 November 2019

Australia's chemistry industry collaborates for the #PullingOurWeight global challenge to reduce plastic waste

Representatives of the Australian chemistry industry will come together today to clean up Melbourne’s foreshore as part of the global #PullingOurWeight challenge.

Led by Dow Chemical in partnership with Chemistry Australia and companies Qenos, LyondellBassel, Martogg, BASF and SNF, the industry will work with Tangaroa Blue and Werribee River Association to remove more than two kilograms of waste per volunteer from Werribee South Beach in Melbourne’s west.

More than 100 volunteers from seven organisations will take part in the clean-up day as part of broader chemistry industry collaboration and action to reduce Australia’s plastic waste.

Started by Dow in 2018, the #PullingOurWeight initiative sets the challenge for industry to collect two kilograms of rubbish per volunteer and raise community awareness of the value of plastic waste.

The #PullingOurWeight campaign is designed to draw attention to Australia’s high rate of waste, which at two kilographs per person per day, is the highest in the world.

It also fosters collaboration in the Australian chemistry industry on the important issue of waste while highlighting the innovations and technologies being developed by industry to recycle waste, clean up existing waste and support initiatives that prevent waste from entering the environment.

With the existing infrastructure and the sector’s unique expertise in polymer science, manufacturing and market development, the Australian chemistry industry is well-placed to provide solutions for the management and reduction of Australia’s plastic waste.

Quotes attributable to Samantha Read, Chemistry Australia CEO 

Chemistry Australia and our members recognise that everyone has a role to play to reduce and deal with waste in Australia.

We are keen to work with Government and the community to leverage the unique capability of the chemistry sector to reduce the amount of waste Australia produces and develop new methods to improve the way Australia’s waste is consequently used, re-purposed and recycled.  The #PullingOurWeight initiative is a great opportunity for industry to collaborate on the important issue of managing and reducing waste in Australia.

Quotes attributable to Karen Dobson Dow ANZ President

This year our #PullingOurWeight campaign is partnering with Chemistry Australia to advance our circular economy as a key component of Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals.

It’s clear to us that addressing end-of-life options for plastics waste will be one of the most important business imperatives of our time. Dow knows sustainability should be and is a core part of our business. We want to bring our industry and our community with us on this journey.

Quotes attributable to Robert Moran, Chair Plastics Stewardship Australia

Industry members of Chemistry Australia have established the Plastic Stewardship Australia taskforce to provide the plastics’ industry input and leadership to the society-wide issue of plastic pollution. We are strong advocates for preventative pollution initiatives such as Operation Clean Sweep.

Quotes attributable to Heidi Taylor, CEO Tangaroa Blue

Tangaroa Blue Foundation works with volunteers and partners across the country through the Australian Marine Debris Initiative to remove marine debris and litter from our environment. At each event, data is also collected for the AMDI Database which is used to find practical ways of preventing marine debris in the future. We have formed a strong partnership with plastic industry members to collaborate on both clean-ups and source reduction projects including Operation Clean Sweep Australia, and are looking forward to assisting in capturing the data at this year’s #PullingOurWeight event.


Media contacts:
Shayna Welsh – [email protected] or 0448 660 443


Chemistry Australia is the pre-eminent national body representing the $40 billion Australian chemistry industry, one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the country. The industry supports more than 212,000 full time jobs and contributes more than $38 billion to Australia’s GDP. Members of Chemistry Australia are positioned across the entire value chain including manufacturers, importers and distributors, logistics and supply chain partners, raw material suppliers, fabricators, compounders, recyclers, research, academia and service providers to the industry. These businesses range from small family-owned companies to leading national and multinational enterprises.

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