GPCA Conference Highlights Challenges of Plastic Recycling - Energy

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The participants in the activities of the 11th session of the GPCA Conference, which concluded today, Thursday, May 26, 2022, stressed that the plastics industry promotes the progress of the circular economy despite the existing challenges.

The 11th edition of the GPCA Plastics Conference was concluded in Riyadh with the presence of regional industry leaders and global experts, who agreed that the production of circular polymers consisting of recycled plastics, in addition to investing in advanced recycling facilities and launching major regional initiatives focused on sustainability have witnessed great development in countries GCC.

plastic industry

GPCA’s latest report on the plastics industry, titled “Opportunities for the transformational plastics industry in the Gulf and building a sustainable future,” revealed a number of challenges that stand in the way of the sector’s progress, including the uncompetitive market for recycled plastics, the absence of specialized knowledge about the circular economy, high investment requirements, and the high cost of manufactured products. According to the circular economy model.

The report highlights a number of other obstacles to a circular economic realization in the region including unfavorable legislative regulations, a complex international plastics supply chain as well as a lack of cooperation among stakeholders.

According to the World Economic Forum, the circular economy represents a huge opportunity and provides tremendous value, as it is expected to generate up to $4.5 trillion in economic benefits by 2030.

GPCA Conference
The side of the GPCA conference

Green Middle East Initiative

At the regional level, transforming the current linear economy model into a more circular economic model could help advance the Green Middle East Initiative and the national visions of GCC governments and enable regional signatories to fulfill their commitments to the Paris Agreement, while reducing emissions.

Speakers during the conference pointed out that less than 10% of plastic materials are recycled globally, due to several factors, including the diversity and pollution of plastic waste and the gap in the current infrastructure compared to the advanced new requirements that the recycling process needs.

Economic value

Experts emphasized the need to design an effective strategic response to address the problems and reduce the waste of plastic waste, which has an economic value of more than $120 billion annually.

For her part, the Executive Vice President of Projects and Business Development at the Petrochemical Industries Company and Vice President of the Plastics Committee in GPCA, Nadia Al-Hajji, stressed the importance of cooperation throughout the value chain to address the challenges facing the industry.

In his speech, Agilex CEO Tim Steddman highlighted the issue of chemical recycling.

The activities of the first day featured speeches by a number of regional industry leaders, including Nasser Al-Dossary, CEO of EQUATE and Chairman of the GPCA Committee for Plastics, Nasser Al-Dosari, CEO of Tasnee, Mutlaq Al-Morished, and Chairman of the National Napco Company, Marwan Frem, and Director of the Sustainability and Environment Department in the Committee The Supreme Council for Projects and Qatari Legacy, Eng. Bodour Al-Meer.

design problems

For his part, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, Abdulwahab Al-Saadoun, referred to the report of the World Economic Forum, which shows that about 30% of plastic products are not recycled due to design problems.

He stressed that GPCA calls on the sector to develop new products that are easy to reuse and recycle, and that the industry should encourage the recycling and use of plastic products, which according to the World Economic Forum can extend the life of at least 20% of these products.

GPCA Conference
The side of the GPCA conference

Al-Saadoun stressed the urgent need for cooperation, more investments, research and innovation, and the adoption of a life-cycle approach to bring about a change in the circular economy of plastics in the region.

It is worth noting that the GPCA Plastic Conference is being held for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a record attendance of 425 delegates from more than 116 companies in the Arab Gulf region and the world.

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