The national and international push towards replacing plastic products (particularly single use) with renewable and recyclable paper and timber product substitutes, should be cause for celebration this World Environment Day, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton said today.

“The main theme of today’s World Environment Day is “Beat Plastic Pollution – If you can’t reuse it, refuse it”. Thankfully Australia’s renewable forest industries are well placed to replace the plastic products that the world is quickly turning away from, and technological advances in the past decade mean we can turn wood fibre into a whole new range of products,” Mr Hampton said.

“It’s terrific to see the movement away from plastic gaining momentum. Last week the European Union (EU) signalled its intentions to eliminate single use plastics, while yesterday Australia’s big two supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths, stated their plans to reduce plastic food packaging and waste, because it’s what their customers want to see. Other jurisdictions, small and large across the world are taking similar action against non-renewable plastics.

“Many plastic products, including single use plastic can be replaced easily with renewable and recyclable paper or timber product substitutes which can be made from sustainably sourced wood fibre. Their use also underpins considerable economic activity and jobs in Australian sustainable forest product businesses,” Mr Hampton concluded.