"We are plastics": plastics associations launch newfangled circular economy campaign

07.09.2021 10:34

The three plastics associations GKV Gesamtverband Kunststoff verarbeitende herstellendem Gewerbe, PlasticsEurope Deutschland and VDMA Fachverband Kunststoff- und Gummimaschinen are joining forces for more sustainability - ecological, social and economic - with "Wir sind Kunststoff" (We are plastics). The campaign and its online platform www.deinkunststoff.de were presented at a joint press conference today. Including the five GKV carrier federations the partners dedicate themselves to the mission cycle economy and would like to advance the change of the plastic industry actively. With more data and facts on the transformation of the manufacturing industry - exemplified by the latest studies on the transformation towards a circular economy - the players want to achieve greater appreciation for plastics, the material of the future, in an innovative way. 

Circular economy: The future is round for plastics

Together, the companies in the plastics industry and their customers want to use fewer resources and significantly reduce environmental pollution. In addition to innovative raw materials for plastics production, such as biomass or CO2, the resource plastic is to be recycled by means of and through. That functions in this way or in this way pronouncedly in order within PET bottles or industry-own collecting systems like within window profiles, nevertheless already not everywhere.

The manufacturing industry and many initiatives are researching with high pressure on sustainable results, mostly in close cooperation with users, politics and NGOs. Some of these are already underway: "Eco Design" for sustainable product design, research collaborations for chemical recycling, the "Zero Granule Loss" alliance for pollution prevention, or the "Earth" campaign for recycling agricultural films.

"We are plastic" wants to use the monumental wealth of experience of its more than 3,000 member companies unitedly in the foreseeable future, to wire individual initiatives more strongly, to think and act beyond the specific horizon, to assist participants during the transformation and equally to represent positions on the conception of the circular economy unitedly.

Self-critical and self-confident communication

The fact that in the past people primarily talked about the plastics industry instead of with it is equally due to the fact that the associations were not easy to find at all times. This is to change with the new platform: A particularly fundamental issue for "We are plastics" is the dialogue with end users and NGOs. In the same way, the associations are concerned about the annoyances with plastics at the end of their use - primarily via littering and entries into waters and oceans. These challenges can only be mastered in solidarity. This is precisely one of the organization's issues.

While the public debate on plastics has so far focused on the undoubtedly essential issue of waste, the associations bring in other equally fundamental aspects such as modern materials, processes and resource efficiency. Plastics are elementary for value creation, participation, prosperity and, as a rule, climate protection. One focus of the web offering is therefore on innovations that inspire through their more sustainable use of the material of the future in a functioning circular economy.

Julia Große-Wilde, Managing Director of GKV: "For me, plastic is the stuff the future is made of: houses of tomorrow, mobility of the future, infinite power to operate and individual leisure. All of this is likely with the right insulation materials, lightweight construction in the aircraft and automotive sectors, wind turbines made of tensile plastic material, and our highly valued flat screens, fitness trackers and ultra-lightweight fitness apparel."

Ingemar Bühler, Chief Executive Officer PlasticsEurope Germany, said, "As a plastics industry, we are fully committed to driving the transformation to a circular economy and greater sustainability. But in the disputation, the issue of waste dominates. With the platform We are Plastics we bundle our energy and arguments to show even enormously stronger what is actually inside us."

Thorsten Kühmann, CEO VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association: "Circular economy and climate protection are essential issues for mechanical engineering, and with that attitude we are shaping the future. We will be all the more successful if we do this together with the stakeholders in the plastics value chain and pursue resilient and ambitious goals in the process."

About "We are plastic

The campaign "We are plastics" is led by Gesamtverband Kunststoff verarbeitende herstellendem Gewerbe e. V. and its five supporting associations, as well as by PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. and Fachverband Kunststoff- und Gummimaschinen. Since mid-2021, the largest associations of plastics manufacturers, plastics processing manufacturing industries and plastics machinery manufacturers have been pooling their experience and know-how under the umbrella of the organization. Together, the associations want to promote open exchange and dialog on innovations and sustainable developments in the plastics industry towards a circular economy. With annual sales of over €100 billion, a high export share and its innovative strength, the plastics industry with its increasingly sustainable orientation is not only among the world leaders within high-tech applications.

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