Over 250 delegates at annual meeting in Madrid / Strong focus on circular economy / 3D-Printing and Composites Platforms launched / Michael Kundel remains as president
The European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC, Brussels / Belgium; has launched two new industry platforms during its annual meeting in Madrid / Spain on 1-2 June 2017 held together with the Spanish plastics association ANAIP (Madrid; The 3D-Printing Platform has been established to exploit 3D-printing’s full potential within the plastics converting industry. The Composites Platform, as the name suggests, will focus on composites, providing important findings to tackle the sector’s future challenges.

During the conference, the EuPC General Assembly also elected several members of its steering committee, namely: David Baker (RPC Group and chairman of EuPC’s Packaging division), Philip Law (British Plastics Federation), Renato Zelcher (Crocco), Dirk Westerheide (GKV) and Bernhard Borgardt (IK and Ostegruppe). EuPC president Michael Kundel, CEO of Renolit, has been re-elected for four years as a member of the steering committee as well. His mandate as president was renewed last year for two years, from June 2016 to June 2018 – see of 08.06.2016.

250 delegates attended the annual meeting (Photo: PIE)
Members elected for a two-year term were: Fabrice Barthélemy (Tarkett), Martin Hitchin (Rehau) and Claude Clement (Plastic Omnium Auto Inergy and chairman of EuPC’s Automotive & Transport division). Clement was also elected as EuPC’s new treasurer.

During the EuPC annual meeting which gathered over 250 delegates from the entire plastics value chain as well as representatives of the EU institutions, member states and academia, Kundel stated that now more than ever it is necessary for the European plastics converting industry to work closely together and speak with one voice. Especially in the light of the major developments regarding the new EU "Strategy on Plastics" – see of 20.03.2017 – the plastics converting industry needs to set itself ambitious goals to embrace the circular economy, keep itself competitive and enable the society a responsible and circular use of plastics.

During the panel debate, the various industry and association representatives discussed quite heatedly at times how the plastics industry could best face up in future to the challenges from Brussels and the urgent problems of the day, including conservation of the environment and resources. Speaking for the brand owners, Glan De Belder of Procter & Gamble said that partnerships were indispensable for achieving the sustainability concepts of his company. And he made it clear that achieving a high level of recyclates in final products was a strong target for his industry. PRE president Ton Emans underlined this requirement stating that it was high time for these words to be followed up by concrete action. Recyclate accounts for just 4 % of the total plastics raw material used, and this shows clearly how much still has to be done. Eco design must be included at the start of the process rather than just being added on at the end. In addition to boosting recycling and re-use, Emans also views the reduction of green house emissions as a major issue. Marcelo Miranda, president of Cicloplast, explained that the ongoing conflict between producers and recyclers had to be resolved – this was what society was calling for.

As a representative of the automotive industry, Clement, president and CEO Europe of Plastic Omnium Auto Inergy, made clear that the recycling and re-use of end-of-life automotive parts was not yet competitive. Economic incentives were still lacking. For him, the biggest challenge here is the separation of highly complex plastic parts. EuPC president Kundel concluded the debate at the Madrid meeting saying, "we cannot ignore the signs. Is there any alternative?" At the same time, however, a shift was at least emerging in the right direction – everyone was, after all, ultimately "sitting in the same boat".
09.06.2017 [237122-0]
Published on 09.06.2017
EuPC: Zwei neue europäische Plattformen etabliertGerman version of this article...

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