Australian chemicals and plastics industry underpinning the country’s manufacturing future


Last year the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA) launched its Strategic Industry Roadmap designed to pinpoint the fundamental needs for achieving a vibrant chemistry sector and the industries it underpins. The country’s chemical and plastics industry plays a critical role in Australia’s entire economy, supplying inputs to 109 of its 111 industries and providing jobs and investment in supply chains across the country.

Image credit: flickr User: aimeeern
Image credit: flickr User: aimeeern

According to the media release by PACIA, maintaining healthy and viable plastics and chemicals industries is of the utmost importance for the country’s economy, especially following the recent developments in the car manufacturing sector in the country which will have wide ranging impact through many supply chains and communities.

“We must look to the future and chart a path for the Australian manufacturing sector to grow and flourish,” said Samantha Read, Chief Executive of PACIA.

“The Australian chemicals and plastics industry is already working together with supply chains and governments on the key actions required for the industry to grow and thrive in the global economy,” she said.

The ‘PACIA Strategic Industry Roadmap’ builds on extensive independent consultation and analysis by CSIRO into the future of the Australian chemistry industry. The research demonstrates how to achieve sustained growth by taking advantage of major global and domestic, economic, social and environmental shifts known as megatrends.

For example, it is a well-known fact that the world is experiencing growing demand for food production due to global population growth. The Australian chemicals and plastics industry plays an enabling role in providing critical inputs to products such as silage film for agricultural production; disinfectants and tamper-proofing in manufacturing; insulation for storage and distribution; and packaging to preserve and protect food.

“To take advantage of these opportunities, industries and governments must continue to work together to remove roadblocks to growth,” said Ms Read.

“The good news is that Australia has a potential competitive advantage due to our abundant reserves of natural gas. Our industry is unique in transforming natural gas as a feedstock into essential chemical components for pharmaceuticals; fertilisers; plastics for food; industrial and agricultural packaging; pipes, tanks and fittings for water distribution.”

According to her, the country’s chemicals industry has a bright future and a capacity to underpin the success of Australian manufacturing.

“We look forward to continuing the productive work with governments to take advantage of the opportunities for growth,” Ms Read said.