Opportunities in recycling and smart packaging

Accounting for 40% of the Turkish plastics industry and 70% of its exports, packaging plays a large part in guiding plastics out of the turbulent waters of additional taxation and bans. Developments in the packaging industry impact everyone from manufacturer to feedstock supplier, machine operator and distribütör, yet each threat gives rise to a new opportunity. Congress, PAGEV enabled the discussion of current threats and opportunities in the industry. The Congress began with introductory remarks by PAGEV Chair Yavuz Eroğlu and continued with the leading names in the industry.

The Turkish Plastics Foundation (PAGEV) held its sixth “International Plastics Packaging Congress” on October 22, 2019 at he İstanbul Swissotel the Bosphorus. Subject matter experts, industry representatives and academics convened around the theme of “Current Threats and Opportunities in Plastic Packaging”. Additional taxes and bans appear to be the greatest threats to the industry, giving rise to opportunities such as sustainability, recycling, and smart packaging.

The anti-plastic winds that sweep Europe are being felt Turkey too. European Commission Policy Officer Werner Bosmans gave firsthand information about plastics being a hot discussion topic in Europe. The 6th PAGEV International Plastic Packaging Congress featured distinguished speakers such as EuPC Managing Director Alexander Dangis, PlasticsEurope Reginoal Director of Global Strategy Johannes Musseleck, who joined PAGEV Chiar Yavuz Eroğlu in a panel discussion on “Circular Economy and Zero Waste”.

Another keynote speaker was Yoav Hoshen, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Water.io, known for creating IoT Smart Packaging as one of the best applications of digital packaging in the World. Smart packaging offers many solutions that make people’s lives easier through mobile applications and the internet. Water.IO’s reusable water bottles are equipped with samrt caps that let you track how muck water you need to drink fort he rest of the day on your phone. The smart cap also reminds you to take a drink of water. Yoav Hoshen gave examples to how packaging was beoming smarter, and provided a glimpse into what we might expect in the future.

The plastics industry will grow with sustainable products

In the introductory remarks to the Congress, PAGEV Chair Yavuz Eroğlu said, “The plastics industry of Turkey is a great contributor to the national economy with 35 billion dollars in revenue and 12 billion dolars in exports. One of the largest subsectors in the industry is packaging, which accounts for 40% of production and 70% of exports.

Looking into figures, we see that 3.6 million tons of plastics worth 12 billion dollars were produced in 2018. In the first half of 2019, plastic packaging production declined by 14% by weight compared to the same period previous year to 1.7 million tons, and 21% by value to 5.4 bllion dollars. According to our forecast, production valume will drop by 7% to 3.4 million tons, and production value will decrease by 13% to 10.5 billion US dollars by the end of the year. The Export growth of the industry is also slumping. Last year, we exported 2.6 billion dollars of plastics packaging. In the fisrt half of this year, no increase was recorded in comparison to the same period in 2018. The industry’s exports for the first 6 months stagnated at 1.3 billion dollars. Of course, we believe this to be temporary. Plastic is an indispensable material. This will ensure that the plastics industry and the plastic packaging sector will continue to grow. As we always say, plastics have no place in natüre, but plenty of place in our lives. The industry will develop with new alternatives. Instead of the one-way Street of makes-sell-consume-dispose, we are transitioning to a circular approach of mak-sell-conseme-recycle-remake. The plastics industry is gearing fort his revolutionary new approach. Plastic packaging will prevent food waste, contribute to the national economy, and achieve impressive growth. The Zero Waste Project in particular will be a boobst to the recycling industry in Turkey. The plastics industry will succeed in Environmental protection and economic development at once with sustainable products. We will keep growing while we keep a wacthful eye over the environment.”

Plast Eurasia 23-26 November 2022
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