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28.05.2019

PLASTICS UNDER PRESSURE - A PANEL DEBATE HELD WITHIN THE SCOPE OF PLASTPOL EXPO

The discussions encompassed the position of the industry in the era of increased awareness plastics and the associated risks

PLASTICS UNDER PRESSURE - A PANEL DEBATE HELD WITHIN THE SCOPE OF PLASTPOL EXPO

Plastics are too valuable to throw away. This is how you can recapitulate the discussions hosted by Bartłomiej Mayer from Puls Biznesu daily. The panel composition -

  •  Professor Engineer Artur Bartkowiak PhD. Hab (ZUT in Szczecin),
  •  Engineer  Kazimierz Borkowski PhD. (PlasticsEurope Polska),
  •  Andrzej Kubik (Replas Recycling Plastics),
  •  Mariusz Musiał (ALPLA Poland) and Jaap Rabou (Basell Orlen Polyolefins).

The new European policy on plastics was one of the topics in the discussion spotlight - the specialists focussed on legislations and posed the question whether the legal system actually responds to real problems or follows what people want to hear about. Today we know that circular economy will trigger further innovations in companies. Firms are thus ready to  invest.  

Now, a limited access to raw materials is the biggest problem - what comes in short supply are used PET bottles, because  PET packaging collection rates are too low. This poses a very big problem. What is important, the PET packaging collection rate from the market is supposed to increase to 77%. This poses a great challenge owing to the fact that it is estimated to be at about 50% in Poland, although there is no precise data.  

Producers extended responsibility is very important. There are producers who have already accepted this responsibility. They have done it voluntarily independent of formal orders or other liabilities. Such companies are ready to take up challenges. We are speaking about Coca-Cola and similar companies which carry out extensive campaigns in this field.  Large corporations are aware of the fact that they are co-responsible for the litter heaps which float across the Pacific. The companies themselves may not have discarded the rubbish themselves, but the products in rubbish heaps are the companies’ "children". These cannot remain unattended,  need to be taken care of. This is the job for recyclers. Before we recycle in a proper way, we must first collect the waste and we also need to know what we actually collect. - said Andrzej Kubik from Replas Plastics Recycling during the debate.

Plastics  were created almost 100 years ago as indestructible materials. This is plastics inherent property. Plastics indestructibility is now such products’ curse. Thus it is extremely important to be aware of what we are surrounded with. Education from an early age is therefore of pivotal importance. Each plastic type has completely different properties. Thus  completely different recycling techniques are required. Therefore, we need to teach what specific materials are, how to handle particular, substances, how to collect and segregate them. Thus the waste collection system becomes much simpler. 

The debate was the continuation of the opening conference for the XXIII International Fair of Plastics and Rubber Processing PLASTPOL. This event continues in Targi Kielce until 31 May 2019.

(JL)

 


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