The sweeping, progressive regulatory program announced in 2018 by the European Union (EU) to move Europe toward a circular economy and address plastics waste in the environment, will drive much of the discussion at Europe’s longest running annual plastics technology and business conference, PEPP 2019: 27th Polyethylene-Polypropylene Chain Global Technology and Business Forum, June 25-27, 2019, in Berlin. The event is hosted by global business information provider IHS Markit.
As announcements of additional polyolefins capacity and images of plastic pollution share the headlines globally, the need for a differentiated and sustainable plastics industry is emerging, IHS Markit said in its recent report on sustainability: Plastics Sustainability – A Sea Change: Plastics Pathway to Sustainability. The transition from a linear (“take-make-dispose”) economy to a circular economy (“recover-innovate-reuse”) represents a shift to ensure industry sustainability and value creation, IHS Markit said.
According to the IHS Markit study, global plastics demand in 2017 was nearly 185 million metric tons (MMT) but, fueled by growing demand from rapidly expanding middle-class populations of consumers in China and India, global plastics demand will exceed 300 MMT by 2030. However, rapidly expanding plastics bans in Europe and elsewhere, particularly for single-use plastics (SUPs), pose a significant future demand threat for plastics producers – “the potential exists to cut plastics demand growth in half by 2030 to 2035,” the IHS Markit report said.
IHS Markit will delve into this critical issue over two full days at PEPP 2019, along with industry majors spanning the polyolefins value chain – from regulatory to resin producers down to processors and brand owners. Venetia Spencer, secretary general, EU Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP), will provide an update at PEPP 2019 on plastics in Europe and the move to a circular economy. Spencer will be followed by Paula Sanabria, project manager, Circular Economy, LyondellBasell, who will present the business case for building a circular economy, including the rationale and goals for the recently created Alliance to End Plastics Waste (AEPW).
Marco Jansen, circular economy leader for Braskem Europe, will discuss the journey toward polyolefins circularity, and Günter Stephan with Borealis, will address circular economy solutions from a polyolefin producer’s view. Feliks Bezati, circular economy manager at Danone, will address the issue of packaging and accelerating the packaging transition toward a circular economy. Jürgen Dornheim, section head, Packaging Capability, Proctor and Gamble Service GmbH, will discuss the pathway to sustainability, from linear to circular.
“Bringing together the policymakers with plastics producers and brand owners is an essential step toward achieving an effective strategy to address this issue that is foremost in the minds of chemical producers, environmental agencies, and many consumers today,” said Nick Vafiadis, vice president, Plastics, at IHS Markit. “Significant investment and technology innovation is required to help companies achieve the rapidly approaching EU mandates, and we will explore these topics in detail at PEPP 2019.”
The complete agenda can be found at: PEPP 2019.
According to the EU, every year, Europeans generate 25 million tons of plastics waste, but less than 30 per cent of that waste is collected for recycling. The EU’s guidelines for recycling, announced this year, would require all plastic packaging to be 100 per cent recyclable or reusable by 2030. An additional proposal seeks to ban single-use plastics (like wrappers, buds, straws, lids, bags, bottles, etc.) by 2021. The EU is also proposing to levy a tax of Euro 800 per metric ton on unrecycled plastics, with the aim of bridging some budget gaps and improving recycling infrastructure.
The EU’s strategy is designed to make the plastics economy a circular economy, which invests in technology and innovation to make recycling more profitable for business, to curb plastic waste, stop littering at sea, driven investment and innovation and spur change across the world.
To register for PEPP 2019, click here.
Source: IHS Markit