IV Conference on Plastics and circular economy: sustainability and recycling

November 28th 2018

The IV Conference on Plastics and circular economy: sustainability and recycling, organized by AIMPLAS y CYCLOPLAST. The meeting brought together different public administrations and all the actors in the plastic value chain who debated what the role of each agent should be to achieve the objectives set by the European Union's plastics strategy. Future challenges and opportunities that the Circular Economy poses to companies were also analyzed.
In this sense, William Neale, adviser on Circular Economy of the European Commission, explained that it is not only necessary to achieve the objectives set by law to achieve a recycling rate of plastic packaging in 2030 of 55%, “we also have to work in the demand for recycling and increasing the quality of recycled plastic so that companies can use it in their products ”, he assured.
The conference was inaugurated by Javier Cachón, general director of Biodiversity and Environmental Quality of the Ministry of Ecological Transition; José Antonio Costa, Director of AIMPLAS; Marcelo Miranda, president of CICLOPLAST, and Máximo Martín, Partner of G-advisory - Grupo GARRIGUES.
Javier Cachón pointed out that Spain is working on the development of an ambitious national roadmap in the field of plastics so that we can all find solutions to the abandonment of waste in the environment and that is part of the work of the Spanish strategy circular economy. This roadmap will include objectives such as increasing reuse or recycling.
Marcelo Miranda highlighted that Spain is among the top five countries in the European Union with the highest plastic recycling rate: 37%, while energy recovery only represents 17% and we waste significant energy value in landfills, when Spain is an energy deficit country.
Ignacio Marco, general director of PlasticsEurope for the Iberian region, recalled that the plastic raw materials industry in Europe generates more than one and a half million jobs through some 60.000 companies. In addition, Marco presented the voluntary commitment 'Plastics 2030' to achieve a 60% reuse and recycling of plastic packaging in that horizon. The goal is to reuse, recycle or recover 100% of the EU's plastic packaging by 2040, ultimately increasing the circularity of plastics and the efficiency of the use of resources.
Next, Luis Cediel, general director of ANAIP, presented the commitment to the transformation of plastics, and David Eslava, president of ANARPLA, spoke about the contribution of the plastics recycling sector to the circular economy and explained that the demand for recycled plastics in the European Union was 49 million tons in 2015. Isabel Goyena, director of Cicloplast, reminded those present of the strong commitment of the plastics sector with the promotion of the Circular Economy.
The following also spoke: José María Cobos, partner at J&A Garrigues; Aurelio del Pino, president of ACES; Begoña de Benito, Director of Institutional Relations at Ecoembes; Luis Mecati, Deputy Director of the Environment at FEMP; Marta Martínez, from the General Sub-Directorate for the Protection of the Sea of ​​MITECO; Estíbaliz López-Samaniego, responsible for Zero Waste projects; and Sonia Albein, researcher at the Department of Sustainability and Industrial Valorization of AIMPLAS.
The last block was dedicated to innovative projects on the circularity of plastics. Among other initiatives, AIMPLAS, presented the LIFE RECYPACK project focused on promoting the Circular Economy of commercial plastic packaging waste in urban areas, and Coexpan presented the development of new, more sustainable packaging products that include more recycled plastic, such as packaging PET food contact or coffee capsules made with biodegradable plastic.
Finally, associations such as ASOBIOCOM participated, which brings together biodegradable and compostable plastic manufacturers and which showed the latest advances in plastics of plant origin, biodegradable and completely recyclable and AVEP (Valencian Association of Plastics Companies).

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