Brussels, 4 September 2020 – PCEP Secretary General Venetia Spencer urged the polyolefin industry to ‘be bold, be brave and together drive the transformation to a circular economy’ when she addressed online delegates at the IHS Markit Polyethylene-Polypropylene (PEPP) Chain Global Technology & Business Forum.
Speaking in the online forum, Spencer updated delegates on the latest EU policies that were shaping the plastics industry – and she said that the sector was facing “a pivotal moment”.
“Our industry is under huge time pressure to deliver transformational change,” she said, but added: “In this transformation, there is enormous opportunity.”
Spencer said that the Sustainable Development Goals are the ‘roadmap’ for everyone, not just plastics and said that the Goals offered an opportunity for the polyolefin industry to be the architects of a new way of doing business, one that decouples growth from resource use – a circular economy. And that this could be achieved by innovation, something that the plastics industry excels at.
“The polyolefin industry represents 70% of the plastic packaging demand in Europe and we’re half of all plastics demand in Europe. Our materials are used in every sector of the economy. So, when we take responsibility for our own footprint, we are the enabler for everyone else’s transformation to circularity too,” she said.
Spencer told delegates that the new European Commission, under President Ursula von der Leyen, had placed environmental issues at the heart of all its policies, not just the obvious ones. This environmental focus and strengthened political mandate is encapsulated in the Commission’s European Green Deal and the new Circular Economy Action Plan.
“This new group of leaders have set the goal for Europe to be the first continent to become climate neutral by 2050” she said, adding that the global coronavirus crisis has not shaken the Commission from its environmental commitments. The historic 1.82 trillion euro committed to the EU budget and recovery fund has the principles of the European Green Deal embedded in it.