While there is no doubt that plastics play a vital role in preserving foodstuffs, there must be a recovery in place for the polymers after use in some form. The current options include recycling, plastics to fuel, burning for energy and chemical degradation back to the primary monomers to recreate virgin plastics. The latter is still being developed, mainly in Japan, and needs to get to an economically viable scale. These options and more will be discussed at the AMI international conference on End of Life Plastics 2014, with a welcome evening on June 16 and a program of presentations on June 17-18 in Dusseldorf.
The Chinese have a vast recycling industry that has been importing from the rest of the world and this will be highlighted in a market paper by Steve Wong Chor Kie, managing director of Fukutomi Co. and executive president of the China Scrap Plastics Association. From Europe Ton Emans, president of Plastics Recyclers Europe, will give an overview of recycling. Scandinavia has a well-deserved reputation for "going green" and the region has put in place a variety of options for plastics waste from energy recovery to recycling, which will be presented by Professor Christer Forsgren of Stena Recyling International. From Belgium, Group Machiels has plans to mine landfill sites for valuable resources such as plastics.