Dubai, UAE June 16th, 2010
Sustainability and the image of plastics topped the agenda on day two of the inaugural GPCA Plastics Summit, which attracted some 300 key decision makers, market players and stakeholders from 120 global and regional companies.
"To address sustainability and to take it as an opportunity, the industry needs to take action," Wilfried Haensel, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope told delegates at the day two keynote address. "In order to take action, we need information and we need to effectively communicate the benefits of plastics and their contribution to climate protection and energy efficiency," Haensel pointed out.
PlasticsEurope gathered hard data by commissioning studies including specific ways plastic contibute to climate protection. Amongst other advocacy efforts is the use of social media such as Youtube to educate the public, particularly the younger generation, via a video produced by PlasticsEurope.
(To view video go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82-Yz8MbxA0)
Environmentalist and author of The Plastic Bag War Hugo Verlomme spoke to the audience via video, pointing out that consumer response and behavior, not plastic bags per se, is responsible for the image of plastic bag as a polluter of the environment and the sea. Other speakers from the Middle East and global plastics industry included Muayad Al-Faresi, Regional Sales Manager, EQUATE, who continued the theme and spoke on the real story behind the image of plastics and various efforts such as recycling, and educating the public and students.
The buzz, however, was certainly around the announcement of the GPCA Plastics Innovation Award, open to plastic converters, research and development centers, regional universities and vocational institutes.
The award which will be given away for the first time in 2011 will be based on numerous criteria with the ultimate objective being to honor either an individual or company that has created a product, application or technology designed to maximize the growth of Plastics manufacturing in the Gulf in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible and sustainable manner.
"The plastics industry makes a significant contribution to our welfare by enabling innovation, enhancing quality of life and facilitating resource efficiency and climate protection," said Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General of GPCA. "The Gulf Industry's position as a global hub for the production of plastic resin is large and will be growing markedly over the next five years so it is imperative that we reward those who have made a significant contribution to this phenomenal growth."
The first three winners in the contest will be rewarded with the winner receiving a cash prize of AED 100,000 and a winner's certificate; the first runner-up will receive AED 50,000, while the 2nd runner-up will get AED 25,000.
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