Safripol’s 2023 SUSTAINABILITY CONFERENCE once again did not disappoint. The much-anticipated event brought together thought leaders across the plastic’s value-chain including government, resin producers, recyclers, brand owners, retailers, industry bodies, and producer responsibility organizations amongst others.
On the agenda for the two days was plastics circularity and climate impacts and what are the various role players doing to move the needle forward towards a sustainable future for the industry. This year, the event went global with speakers from South Africa giving a local South African perspective, complemented by their international peers from Austria, France, UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Singapore, highlighting that plastic pollution is a global problem that requires international action.
The address by Minister Barbara Creecy of Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment of South Africa, set the scene and showed government’s commitment to supporting the circular plastics industry transition. Some 147 delegates were in attendance in person with a a total audience of 377 delegates connecting virtually from 10 countries to participate in both the conference and live streamed Q & A sessions across platforms. Safripol’s SUSTAINABILITY CONFERENCE 2023 also coincided with the market launch of Safripol’s first recycled rPET product portfolio with 15 (15% post-consumer rPET) and 25 (25% post-consumer rPET) being recently commercialized.
Some of the key themes emerging over the two-day event included the tightening plastics legislation (both locally and globally); packaging design, reduce, re-use and recycling enabling plastics circularity; life cycle assessments informing decision making; the need for system level change and implementation; and education and partnerships as being key in the transition.
The discourse regarding the circular economy was not new for the industry, however the depth of content, evidence base, and more importantly the consistent and reinforcing messaging from across the value chain showed promise towards progress, coherence, and alignment amongst the various stakeholders. It was also evident again this year that the gap between business and grass-roots initiatives must be bridged for sustainable development.
It was a privilege for us to host all our delegates at this year’s event. We would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to our executive team led by our CEO Nico Van Niekerk, programme director Michael Avery, our change making presenters, and all our delegates for the high-level engagement and thought-provoking discussions over the two days. We would also like to say a big thank you to Data Centrix for their collaboration with the reusable smart notebooks which made for a well sought-after conference gift. Speaker content will be made available to all registered delegates on the Lets plastic responsibly website in due course.
We now look forward to further engagements with all our stakeholders and to accelerate the momentum which has been created as we all work together towards the common goal of building a sustainable plastics industry.
Watch this space for our SUSTAINABILITY CONFERENCE 2024 announcement coming soon!
Let’s plastic responsibly.