The plastics industry has become acutely self-aware. Directive targets must be met; new processes researched, developed and launched; and consumer education delivered. And looming over all of this is the spectre of sustainability, and the demonisation of plastics.
That’s the general consensus among some of Europe’s leading plastic industry commentators — the very people working to reshape the industry.
While plastic in its myriad forms is ingrained in every aspect of our life, ‘plastiphobia’ has entered the vernacular as a condition, and regulators are cracking down hard on an industry that already faces a number of complex challenges.
But plastiphobia shouldn’t be a thing. Plastic should not be demonised; rather, it should be treated like the crux of modern living that it is. The problem is not with plastic per se, rather the recycling of plastic and its inappropriate usage.
The plastics industry has become acutely self-aware, and some might even say introspective. Directive targets must be met; new processes researched, developed and launched; and consumer education delivered and expectations met. And looming over all of this is the spectre of sustainability, and the demonisation of plastics.
Speaking at Circularity for Polymers: The ICIS Recycling Conference in Berlin earlier this month, International E-Chem Chairman Paul Hodges said there’s an awful lot of work to do in a very limited time.
“It’s very clear there’s a paradigm shift going on in the industry. Companies are waking up to the fact that waste plastics are a really big issue — one that’s not going to go away. Single-use plastics are going to be in the firing line for the next few years — and business models simply must change,” he emphasised.
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