Plastic – the best material in the world – but more recycling needed!

Plastic is an excellent material. It contributes to minimizing negative effect on the environment in many areas. Plastic makes products lighter, saves energy and helps us substantially preserve food in a better way, to mention a few examples. Plastic is easy to recycle and to use in new products. Meanwhile there are challenges, with inadequate recycling in many countries, both within and outside Europe. And not least a substantial need for more facts in the plastics debate.

On Septenber 13, Trioplast hosted an IKEM industry-meeting with regard to plastic and its future. Representatives from IKEM (Branch organization for Innovation- and chemical industries in Sweden), companies from various application areas of the industry, and Andreas Malmberg, CEO Trioplast gave their views about challenges and opportunities for plastics.

One of the main questions is how the industry can work towards increased recycling of plastic in different forms. The participants all agreed that a key is to stop talking of plastic waste as rubbish, and instead work to enlighten people on how plastic, if correctly recycled, is a very valuable raw material. This, in combination with investment in development in technology and capacity for recycling of plastic in Sweden, would give environmental benefit and be a beneficial use of resources.

One other theme at the meeting was the prevailing debate regarding plastic carrier bags and microplastics and where facts often are muddled and where the image sometime becomes blurred.

”Many work with spreading concern about plastic in society, but with questionable facts. To get a fair and honest debate we need to improve the spread of correct information to the consumers of plastic” said Magnus Huss, Director General, IKEM.

IKEM is taking part in the debate about plastic by discussing how to expand recycling and adjacent topics. However, more ambassadors are needed to create a dialogue with our customers, which  often are large brand owners. Those brand owners are closer to the consumer base and end users and consequently can carry the message more effectively.