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Is there such a thing as sustainable plastics

The German nova-Institute, has stirred up the plastics debate – while plastic waste is piling up and the seas get filled with plastic soup, they make a plea for the use of more plastics!

A better use of plastics

They say the age of plastic has just begun!

That ‘no other materials have such a broad spectrum of properties and can be brought into any conceivable form with the greatest efficiency.’

Moreover, the material’s properties ‘can often be achieved with much less material input…. There are significant problems, but all of them can be solved BUT must be solved urgently.’

Some 20% of all plastics produced worldwide end up in the environment, of which 3% in the seas. And all plastics made from fossil sources eventually end up as CO2 in the atmosphere

Unsustainable conditions. ‘Completely unacceptable.’ Industry needs to act! Particularly in view of the still growing use of plastics (4% p.a. worldwide)

Also, consider – plastics are a very smart solution to many construction problems. ‘Sand for cement is already becoming a scarce commodity worldwide and cement currently has emissions issues.’ Our future homes could be constructed of plastic. ‘The age of plastics has only just begun. And this is precisely why plastics must become sustainable as quickly as possible and regain a good image.’

Nova-Institute has shown in its work that plastics can equally well be produced from abundant resources: biomass and CO2. And from recycling. ‘There is enough raw material for the next millennia.’

Nova Institute ends by making a plea for the use of the best materials available or any job. Often, this will be a plastic. But then, viable end-of-life options should be available, in the form of comprehensive disposal and recycling systems. ‘Sustainable plastics will be more expensive, but already today almost half of German consumers are willing to spend more money on sustainable products.’

Some companies are coming to the rescue already. Thirty leading chemical companies in the plastics chain have formed the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW). They intend to invest $ 1.5 billion over the next 5 years in waste management, the circular economy and new recycling technologies

‘The plastics industry can emerge from the current crisis new and strengthened like the Phoenix from the ashes.’

Could plastics be a solution, not a problem in the future?

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