Media and News

European Parliament leads the way in plastics ban

In a landslide majority, the European parliament has voted to ban all single use plastics starting in 2021.

This ban would affect single use plastic items that have a valid alternative, which will include things from plastic straws to fishing nets. The staggering 571-53 majority vote shows how seriously this issue is being taken internationally. Given how seriously we take sustainability, the AGDF is excited to see international progress toward a greener future.

2018 Sustainability Awards

The 2018 Sustainability Awards for Architecture and Design have been announced, and the AGDF sends out a big congratulations to this year’s winners who are recognised as being at the forefront of Ecologically Sustainable Design.


Best of The Best –  EME Design  with ‘Passive Butterfly’

CommercialAurecon  with ‘One Malop Street’

EducationArchitectus  with ‘Macquarie University Incubator’

Emerging Architect of the YearJean Graham, Director of Winter Architecture

Green Building of The YearDefence Housing Australia  with ‘The Prince’s Terrace Adelaide’

HealthcareCrosshatch with ‘Wallan Veterinary Hospital’

Innovation or ApplicationWinya with ‘E-Board’

Interior ArchitectureStable Innovations with ‘The Burcham’

Landscape and Biophilia DesignBent Architecture  with ‘Phoenix Rooftop’

Multiple DwellingDefence Housing Australia with ‘The Prince’s Terrace Adelaide’

Public and Urban DesignTaylor & Hinds Architects  with ‘krakani lumi’

Single Dwelling, Alteration or AdditionEME Design  with ‘Passive Butterfly’

Single Dwelling, NewMahalath Halperin Architects with ‘Drumkerin’

Smart BuildingLippmann Partnership / Rodgers Stirk Harbour & Partners with ‘8 Chifley Square’

Achievement of Merit – Humberto Urriola, founder of Atlantis Corporation

Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

 A floating U-shaped barrier, 600 meters long, has been deployed from San Francisco to combat the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A 3-meter-deep screen beneath the boom traps floating plastics and allows fish to swim safely underneath. The boom constantly transmits its location and sensor information, when these indicate it is ready a support vessel collects the amassed rubbish and transports it back to land for recycling.

The device’s creator hopes that if it is successful, it will become the first of a fleet aiming to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within 5 years. The barrier deployed from San Francisco is one of many ocean clean-up efforts worldwide as more people recognize how urgent the need is and act. Closer to home we have the Shruder device developed in Coffs Harbour, which attracted the attention of Prince Charles.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – now almost the size of Queensland – contains plastics from as far back as the 1960s and grows steadily as roughly 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year. Part of the solution has to be prevention and education, and there are people working hard to make progress in these areas too – such as the War on Waste documentary which has taken Australia by storm. While the big thinkers’ educate and build though, we are the people who hold the most power to change this. Finding ways to use less plastic and recycling what we do use is the only long-term solution to this problem.

Image: ABC News

Premier’s Hydrogen Energy Paper Published

Following the recent breakthrough in Hydrogen fuel technology, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has published a paper on advancing Australia’s Hydrogen industry.  The paper opens the floor for public consultation to help shape Queensland’s future Hydrogen industry. The appeal for feedback includes an online survey you can take, or submission of a written response to with specific questions for response outlined in the paper itself.

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 universal goals that aim to address the most urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing the world today. They build from the Millennium Development Goals, which saw global extreme poverty and child mortality halved by it’s completion. The SDGs address a broader scope, with a stronger environmental focus and more specific goals.

Achieving these goals is not just a government responsibility, but one falls to businesses and individuals too.  To encourage individuals to act, the UN has put out The Lazy Persons Guide to Saving the World. It’s a list of realistic actions you can take to work toward the SDGs without getting off your couch and includes progressively more taxing suggestions for those willing to stand up, leave the house, or even go to work.

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