23 April 2009 - Industry and academia join forces to advance plastics recycling and recovery

Conference highlights newest technologies from around the world

More than 190 experts met in Brussels between 20-22 April for the seventh IdentiPlast conference to discuss the future of plastic recycling and recovery. In a series of 39 different presentations, given by speakers from the plastics as well as from the recycling industries, the European Commission and academia, delegates learned about recent developments and latest innovations. There was a broad consensus that recent innovations have pushed plastics recycling forward in an impressive manner and that technological development must continue to be pursued. Experts underlined the importance of maintaining the public’s trust in recycling and recovery at a time of crisis that is also threatening the economic viability of the recycling industry.

PlasticsEurope’s manager for Consumer & Environmental Affairs, Wolfgang Siebourg, who had been organising the conference, said: “It is the sharing of best practises, such as those seen at IdentiPlast, that will help us to overcome this crisis and increase Europe’s leadership in waste management and energy efficiency“. Mr. Siebourg concluded by commenting that: “The plastics industry is not alone is pursuing these goals. It was inspiring to see the industry, academia, local government and decision-makers coming together to push in the same direction.”

Carlos López from the University of Valencia who was finally awarded the €3000 (with the regional director of the Iberian region Francisco Cimadevila and Jean-Pierre De Grève, leader of PlasticsEurope’s Competence Centres Advocacy and Communications).

IdentiPlast participants also had the opportunity to elect the winner of the first IdentiPlast Student’s Award, a competition rewarding the best idea or practice for intelligent recycling and recovery of plastics. Students from across Europe had been asked to present their innovative ideas. A Scientific Committee had picked out the best six entries and invited these candidates to present their work to the international audience at IdentiPlast. It was Carlos López from the University of Valencia in Spain who was finally awarded the €3.000 IdentiPlast grant for his entry dealing with radio-frequency identification (RFID) labels.

PlasticsEurope’s Executive Director Dr. Wilfried Haensel

What was also new during this seventh staging of the biennial IdentiPlast conference, was the addition of some practical experience to the two days of theory. After two days of information, the opportunity to visit a plant that treats post-industrial waste plastics for final recycling operations and another to a plant manufacturing products made from various end-of-life plastics was offered to delegates. Both the IdentiPlast student award and the plant visits were newly introduced aspects of the conference that were highly appreciated.

Word document of Press release

Press Contact:
PlasticsEurope AISBL
Michael Herrmann
Phone: +49 (0) 692556-1306

Editors' note:

PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European trade associations with centers in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. We are networking with European and national plastics associations and have more than 100 member companies, producing over 90% of all polymers across the EU27 member states plus Norway, Switzerland, Croatia and Turkey.

The European plastics industry makes a significant contribution to the welfare in Europe by enabling innovation, creating quality of life to citizens and facilitating resource efficiency and climate protection. More than 1.6 million people are working in about 50.000 companies (mainly small and medium sized companies in the converting sector) to create a turnover in excess of 300 billion € per year.

The plastics industry includes polymer producers - represented by PlasticsEurope, converters - represented by EuPC and machine manufacturers - represented by EUROMAP. For further info see the web links: www.plasticseurope.org, www.plasticsconverters.eu, www.euromap.org