Petcore Europe Conference 2017
Under the theme “PET 2020 – The future of the PET industry”, the complete industry presented and shared their visions on the future of PET and the PET industry. Additionally, speakers from the European Commission, the European Environmental Bureau and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation gave an outlook on the development of the Circular Economy and other environmental challenges ahead.
Although PET is is one of brand owners’ packaging materials of choice due to its outstanding performance in safely delivering products and its recyclability the PET value chain is also facing major challenges that were reflected in the conference debates. From the PET producers’ side, Antonello Ciotti, Vice President of CPME (Committee of PET Manufacturers in Europe) presented the challenges posed by the Circular Economy, including shifting from fossil to bio-based PET. These challenges will require innovation from all actors and the PET producers are committed to take part in this effort.
Nicolas Rivollet from Husky and Carsten Lauridsen from Faerch Plast focused their respective presentations on the trends in PET packaging and design, while illustrating past and future developments. "In 2020 we expect to see 5% more bottles per ton of PET in a bale of recycled bottles: this results from the combination of the slow to negative growth of Carbonates Soft Drinks, an increased share of low volume formats and resin efficiency gains for a given format,” explained Rivollet. "Small CSD, Juice Sport Drinks & Teas, liquid dairy, home, personal care and food packaging currently represent the next frontier for PET: these applications require more engineered PET packages and the number of those packages could double by 2020."
PET Sustainability 2020
Eric Liégeois from the European Commission presented the recently published roadmap for the Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy, currently open for public feedback. He emphasised the three critical interrelated issues outlined in the strategy: the high dependence on fossil feedstocks, the low rate of recycling and reuse of plastics in general, and the significant leakage of plastics into the environment.
Stéphane Arditi from the European Environmental Bureau insisted on the implementation of deposit systems to encourage consumers to pull together with the industry. "If you want to put responsibility on the consumers, you have to raise awareness by touching their wallets and consider a deposit system," Arditi outlined.
Sander Defruyt from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation concluded the session with his presentation on the New Plastics Economy: "Three strategies are needed to transform the global plastic packaging market: fundamental packaging re-design and innovation, reuse systems and recycling with radically better economics and quality."
From the recyclers’ perspective, Casper van den Dungen, Vice President of the Plastics Recyclers in Europe (PRE), clearly emphasised that a lot has to be still implemented to meet the European Commission's 2025 target proposal of 55% recycling rate for the complete plastic waste stream in the EU. PET bottle recycling is best in class today with more than 55% recycling rates. "However, for achieving these overall targets for all plastics and packaging, the most important thing is that the right infrastructure is in place, which is not yet the case," he stated during his presentation.
The next Petcore Europe Conference will take place in the first quarter of 2018. The exact date and place will be announced in the second half of 2017.
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