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17 May 2023 Partner Release

Australia’s Ambassador to Thailand, Dr Angela Macdonald PSM, was proud to launch the Mekong Plastics Innovation Alliance between Thailand and Australia today to reduce pollution in Thailand’s riverways and the ocean.

The alliance will bring together local knowledge, private sector resources, and scientific expertise to accelerate and scale-up innovative solutions to tackle plastic pollution in waterways. Australia’s National Science Agency, CSIRO, and Thailand’s National Science and Technology Development Agency, will partner with entrepreneurs to identify new approaches to reduce riverine and marine pollution, strengthen research collaborations, and build a network of expertise.

CSIRO Counsellor and Director Southeast Asia, Amelia Fyfield, said launching the alliance in Thailand was part of a wider, holistic approach to tackling plastic waste in the Indo-Pacific region, aligning with CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste Mission, which has a goal of an 80 per cent reduction in plastic waste entering the environment by 2030.

"Supporting innovators to translate science, technology and innovation into real world solutions is critical in solving this global issue. It’s exciting to work alongside our partners to train the regions’ next generation of emerging change-makers,” Ms Fyfield said.

"We are particularly delighted to work in partnership, because the problem of plastic is much bigger than any one country. Only through a collective, united, and regional approach can we make real progress toward ending plastic waste.”

The alliance will provide information, technologies and processes for reducing plastic pollution to waterways to protect the integrity of rivers and the ocean. Opportunities for innovation and collaboration will be hosted online and in Thailand, with activities open to participants from Cambodia and Laos. This model builds off the success of CSIRO’s Plastics Innovation Hub in Vietnam and will see outcomes expand to build resilience in the Mekong subregion.

As part of the Mekong Australia Partnership, Australia recognises the urgency of the environmental challenges facing the Mekong subregion, including plastic pollution, and is committed to working with the region to address these, including through supporting regional adaptation and resilience efforts. In March 2022, Australia joined the global fight to end plastic pollution at the 5th session of the UN Environment Assembly, agreeing to negotiate a new global treaty on plastic pollution.

“Tackling marine pollution is a priority under our Strategic Partnership with Thailand,” Ambassador Macdonald said. said Ambassador Macdonald.

"We are proud to be increasing our collaboration, through sharing expertise to address the growing plastic problem in our waterways," she said.

For more information, visit the Mekong Plastics Innovation Alliance page.


We know the problem of plastic waste is much bigger than any one country that’s why the work of the Mekong Plastics Innovation Alliance will be so critical in fostering collective, united, and regional solutions.
It’s estimated that there’s trillions of pieces of rubbish in our oceans and 14 million tonnes of microplastics on the seafloor - that’s why the Indo-Pacific Plastics Innovation Network will be launching programs in Thailand and across the Mekong region to help the region's sharpest entrepreneur's find sustainable and profitable solutions to address plastic waste.
Amelia Fyfield (CSIRO Counsellor Singapore, Director Southeast Asia) speaking at the launch of the Mekong Plastics Innovation Alliance launch in Thailand.
(Left to Right): Dr Angela Macdonald PSM, Australian Ambassador to Thailand. Amelia Fyfield, CSIRO Counsellor Singapore, Director Southeast Asia. Dr Wijarn Simachaya, President of Thailand Environment Institute (TEI). Dr Julathep Kajornchaiyakul Executive Director of the National Metal and Materials Technology Center, National Science and Technology Development Agency.

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