PET industry needs to focus on circularity and stop defending plastics - PETCore president

Author: Matt Tudball

2020/02/05

BRUSSLES (ICIS)--The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market needs to focus on the positivity of circularity rather than trying to defend plastics, PETCore President Stephen Short said on Wednesday.

Opening the 2020 PETCore annual conference in Brussels, Short, addressing the 300-strong audience, said it is time to stop defending PET because “we have lost that battle”.

Instead, he said, the industry needs to play to its strengths, and to focus on the positive message of proving the recyclability of PET.

“We are in a zero tolerance world for plastic,” Short said. “We can't speak about recycling, we have to prove it.”

This was a theme echoed throughout the opening day of the conference, with Christian Crépet, Executive Director Petcore Europe adding that the PET industry has an advantage over other polymers because it can be 100% recycled.

Another common theme running through the first day of the conference is for the industry to work harder and smarter to educate and inform consumers and policy makers on the benefits of PET when compared to other materials such as glass, paper and aluminium.

Paccor’s Nicolas Lorenz said the industry has the opportunity to inform the consumer around topics like CO2 emissions from plastics and other packaging materials, giving a balanced view on the advantages and drawbacks of each.

The PETCore annual conference runs 5-6 February 2020 in Brussels, Belgium.