IdentiPlast 2015: Plastics Waste a key component of a Circular Economy

How can the plastics industry contribute to a circular economy? Can sustainability and economic growth go hand in hand? How can we prevent plastics waste ending in landfills?
These and other equally important questions were raised at the 12th edition of IdentiPlast, PlasticsEurope’s international conference on the Recycling and Recovery of Plastics. The event gathered more than 200 guests including high-level representatives from European municipalities, policy and decision makers, waste management organisations, manufacturers, academics and NGOs in Rome on 29 and 30 April. 

In the opening speech, Daniele Ferrari, President of PlasticsEurope Italia and CEO of Versalis, highlighted how the end of life of plastics is central for a sustainable development of the industry. "Our prime duty is to have a constructive dialogue with institutions and regulators in order to create the right conditions to reach environmental and societal objectives without compromising competitiveness” he said. "The European plastics industry undertook a major action since 2011, with the Zero Plastics to Landfill initiative, and we need to continue working in the right direction. A better implementation and enforcement of existing waste legislation has the potential to increase recycling and recovery rates while creating jobs in Europe” he added.

Prof Dr Helmut Maurer, European Commission, DG Environment, underlined some key aspects of the Commission’s ambitious Circular Economy Package to be released this autumn. "We should focus on implementation; we need to have a measured approach with a legislation that effectively triggers investments into green economy and creates jobs. We also will have to concentrate on products to close the circle towards a sustainable economy" Mr Maurer said.  

This years’ edition was organised by PlasticsEurope in partnership with Versalis, American Chemistry Council (ACC), Plastic Waste Management Institute, Tokyo (PWMI), Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), the European Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations (epro); National Consortium for the collection, recycling and recovery of plastics packaging (COREPLA) and Consortium for the recycling of packaging (CONAI). 

Organised since 1997, IdentiPlast was born from the idea that plastics are too valuable to be thrown away. It consists of discussion panels and keynote speeches on identification, sorting, collection, recycling and energy recovery technologies and markets for plastic waste. IdentiPlast initially was held in Brussels but now travels to European capitals. After London, Madrid, Warsaw and Paris; this time it was held in Rome.

Did you know ?
  • The world is spending 16 billion one-way plastics syringes per year.