Recycling plastics boosts industry's image – US ExxonMobil exec

02 February 2012 20:36  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW DELHI (ICIS)--High recycling rates will bring on more positive public reception of plastics, a senior executive of US-based ExxonMobil said on Thursday.

"If you look at countries in Europe that have very high recycling rates, you see a much more positive public reception of plastics,” said John Verity, vice president for ExxonMobil Chemical's global polyolefins business. He made his comments on the sidelines of the PlastIndia conference in New Delhi.

"If you go to countries where recycling rates are very low, you see a lot more plastic litter in the environment. The public reception is lower,” he said.

In addition, the high calorific values of plastics make them a suitable source for energy recovery, he added.

"If you incinerate the resin, you can recover more energy from, say, a pound of polyethylene than you would from a pound of coal,” Verity said.

"It is bizarre that we bury polyethylene in landfills but we dig out coal [from the ground],” he said.

Energy recovery from plastics incineration is commonly practised in European countries such as Germany and Switzerland.

In those countries, environmental movements that started in the mid-1990s have been pushing toward the recycling and reuse of resources, he said.

The 8th PlastIndia exhibition is being held in New Delhi from 1–6 February.

By: Chow Bee Lin
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