The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA), in partnership with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), has launched a new annual scholarship program for Australia and New Zealand.

The ABA Scholarship Program will enable one eligible candidate the opportunity to undertake a Diploma in Packaging Technology, valued at $9000, and a second person the opportunity to undertake a Certificate in Packaging, valued at $7000.

Rowan Williams, ABA president, says the opportunity for the ABA to sponsor packaging scholarships with the AIP is extremely valuable for not only ABA members, but also the broader packaging community at large.

“The demand for alternative packaging forms, whether bioplastic or other materials, is an extremely important challenge for all, given the targets of all packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable,” explains Williams.

“Companies also need to be working towards the National Plastic Plan of eliminating problematic types of packaging and introducing those that are certified compostable to meet the Australian Standards,” he said.

“Facilitating education on certified compostable materials, in addition to further education on all other material types for packaging, can only benefit the entire packaging industry over time.”

According to Professor Pierre Pienaar, AIP’s education director, scholarship programs are important for the industry as the benefits are significant to all involved – the participants, the company they work for, and the wider community.

“Scholarship programs instill a greater sense of belonging to the wider industry and motivate the students to graduate from their degree,” Pienaar adds.

“This program is also a wonderful way for the ABA to give back to the industry they serve and to enable someone the opportunity to pursue higher education that they may not have even been able to access before,” he said.

“The ABA Scholarship Program will not only create educational opportunities for the next generation of leaders, but at the same time, enhance the knowledge base of the recipient.

“The ABA should be commended for developing this program for its members and we look forward to seeing the applications in 2021.”

Applications close on 30 April. Entry forms and details on the criteria for each scholarship is available here.