Centre director, Associate Professor Steven Pratt said scientists will work toward developing bio-derived and bio-degradable plastics that have a minimal environmental impact.
“Every year it’s estimated more than 10 million tonnes of plastic leaks into oceans as part of the almost 400 million tonnes of plastic that’s destined for landfill,” said Dr Pratt.
“Urgent change is needed, and biodegradable bioplastics along with their natural fibre composites, will be pivotal.
“It’s an exciting prospect to work toward manufacturing a commercially-available plastic with exceptional properties but without the legacy of accumulation in the environment.”
Dr Pratt said there was a rapidly growing local and international market for better bioplastics.
“But we need to consider their full life cycle, from the sustainable resources to make them right up to their end of life,” he said.
The training centre is a partnership between The University of Queensland and The Queensland University of Technology, alongside the Queensland Government, Kimberly-Clark Australia, Plantic Technologies, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, Minderoo Foundation and City of Gold Coast.