K trade fair shows solutions for a circular climate-neutral plastics industry
Special show Plastics shape the future brings together experts on the key issues of the future
At K trade fair, which is starting now, everything revolves around the transformation of the plastics industry into a circular, climate-neutral and resilient branch of industry. Under the three hot topics “Climate Protection – Circular Economy – Digitalisation”, globally leading companies, representatives of cutting-edge technology and renowned research institutes will show what changes industry and science are driving forward to make the plastics industry more resource-efficient and greenhouse gas neutral. The industry already has the key technologies needed for this at hand. In times of multiple crises, however, it is becoming clear that the path to transformation is stonier than was thought just a few months ago. The effects of climate change, dramatically increased energy and gas prices and interrupted supply chains pose major challenges for industry and society. It is questionable, for example, how quickly a secure and sufficient supply of electricity and heat from renewable energies can be achieved – also to reduce dependence on fossil raw materials.
Ingemar Bühler, Managing Director of PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V., the association of plastics producers and trade associations, says: “The current challenges have one thing in common: they require a clear compass and determination. To overcome them, we need the consistent implementation of innovative industrial solutions and business models now and in the coming years, for example, to quickly achieve significant progress in the circular economy. We also need the right policy framework now to help strengthen the economy, sustainably secure our prosperity and our future, while advancing climate action.”
Experts from science, industry, non-governmental organisations and politics will inform and discuss how this can be achieved on seven theme days at the K Special Show in Hall 6. The central dialogue forum at K will focus on the three main themes of the fair, which will be examined from economic, social and ecological perspectives. The focus will be on resilient value chains, Industry 4.0, a CO2-neutral industry and the decisive levers for more circularity in plastics.
Economic situation of plastics producers
The plastics producing industry in Germany is facing one of the greatest challenges in its existence due to Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. The Europe-wide shortage of energy resulting from the Russian aggression and the resulting high electricity and raw material prices meet with serious problems in the supply chains that have already existed since the Corona pandemic. As a result, production at plastics producers fell by 3.2 per cent in the year to August. More and more of these companies are also having problems passing on the increased costs of energy, raw materials and logistics to customers.
The demand for plastics is not only declining in Germany. In China, the government’s rigid zero-covid policy and the crisis in the real estate market are leading to a significant slowdown in economic growth. In the USA, high inflation and rising interest rates are dampening the mood to buy and invest. A clear easing of the situation is not in sight. Therefore, targeted and effective political measures and their prompt implementation are now necessary to secure the competitiveness of the German and European locations of the plastics producing industry.
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