The year 2017 has brought rapid changes to the plastic recycling sector, causing it the be the topic of discussion at a session at the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe.
In a session called Plastic’s Bright Future (and Dark Cloud) on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 8, four different speakers offer their perspectives on plastic’s continued growth as a basic material as well as its status as a target of environmental advocates in Europe and elsewhere—largely because of its unwelcome waste presence.
Three of the four speakers help manage companies that recycle or divert from landfill plastic scrap generated in Europe, while the other is the executive director of a Brussels-based trade group representing the PET bottle and container industry in Europe:
Edward Kosior, managing director, Nextek;
Michael Baxter, external affairs director, RPC BPI Group;
Adrian Griffiths, CEO, Recycling Technologies; and
Christian-Yves Crepet, executive director, Petcore Europe.
Many of the changes affecting Europe’s and North America’s plastic scrap sector have their roots in China. Those regulatory and policy changes are the topic of 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe’s opening two sessions Tuesday, Nov. 7, titled Gateways and Barriers: The Export Situation.
In Plastic’s Bright Future (and Dark Cloud), panelists, in part, look at how China’s scrap import restrictions likely will lead to major changes in the way Europe processes and handles its plastic scrap.
In a commentary submitted to the Recycling Today Media Group, organizers of Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe, Griffiths of Recycling Technologies, writes, “Why export [plastic scrap] at all? We could keep the economic value of this material at home, create the jobs to recycle it where it has been used and, in the process, gain certainty that our material is not exacerbating the plastic [pollution in the] ocean situation.”
All four speakers will tackle the topic of how and whether Europe is prepared to continue to collect and recycle plastic scrap, with or without China remaining as a major destination for the material.