Embedding circular principles into plastic packaging regulation in Australia: challenges and solutions

Masters Thesis

Bousags, Annastasia Louisa. 2021. Embedding circular principles into plastic packaging regulation in Australia: challenges and solutions. Masters Thesis Master of Laws (Research). University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/q7086

Embedding circular principles into plastic packaging regulation in Australia: challenges and solutions

TypeMasters Thesis
AuthorBousags, Annastasia Louisa
1. FirstProf Noeleen McNamara
2. SecondBob Zhoa
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Laws (Research)
Number of Pages168
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/q7086

The Circular Economy is an alternative economic model, focused on resource efficiency and regenerative systems, which aims to systematically alter society's patterns of natural resource use and waste generation in pursuit of sustainable production and consumption practices. Centered on generating material 'loops' through the recirculation of waste into further production cycles, the circular economy is dependent on the continuous re-use of materials from products that have been designed and manufactured for re-use, reparability, upgradability and recyclability.

Given the weight afforded to product design within the literature, specifically the need for manufacturers to produce circular compatible products for the generation of material loops, this thesis proposes that a lack of appropriate regulatory interventions focused on start-of-life design of products, is a current legal barrier that hinders the transition toward a circular economy in Australia.

To investigate possible mechanisms to overcome this barrier, this thesis utilizes a case study focused on plastic packaging, to establish a best practice approach to regulating manufacturers for improved circular plastic packaging. To demonstrate use, and application of the best practice approach, these principles will be then be employed to identify and review existing regulation that applies to manufacturers of plastic packaging in Australia. Application of these principles in this review, will establish not only an understanding of the ways in which manufactures are currently being regulated in Australia, but will also highlight potential regulatory gaps that may require attention in this area.

Guided by the outcome of this review, this thesis will conclude by proposing a number of reform recommendations intended to improve these instruments in line with the proposed best practice approach in pursuit of a circular economy for plastic packaging in Australia.

Keywordscircular economy, circular economy in Australia, regulatory design, regulatory design in Australia, plastic packaging, circular product design
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480405. Law and society and socio-legal research
480203. Environmental law
480406. Law reform
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law and Justice
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