The New Plastics Economy initiative took shape in May 2016, uniting more than 40 major companies in a push to re-think the use of plastics in line with circular economy principles. Its first workshop saw companies including Coca-Cola, DuPont, L’Oréal, MARS, M&S, Unilever and Veolia exploring key plastics issues with representatives from Copenhagen and the London Waste and Recycling Board.

Established by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), the three-year initiative will build on the recommendations set out in The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics report, launched at the World Economic Forum in January 2016. The report sheds light on the challenges and opportunities presented by the global plastic packaging value chain. In particular, it highlights that the plastic packaging industry loses some $80-120bn annually in waste materials and causes environmental impacts of at least $40bn.

By taking a systemic and collaborative approach, the New Plastics Economy initiative aims to inspire concrete, scalable action, overcoming the limitations of previous fragmented attempts at driving change. It envisages a fundamental, system-wide transformation, with stakeholders acting collectively towards shared goals. Starting with plastic packaging, it hopes to unleash a wave of innovation within the broader plastics value chain, catalysing both commercial and environmental benefits.

The EMF will take the lead, partnering with multiple companies, cities, philanthropists, policymakers, academics, students, NGOs and entrepreneurs. The partners will draw inspiration from Project MainStream, a cross-industry initiative to help businesses accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

The New Plastics Economy’s five focus areas:

Collaborative dialogue – United leading companies and cities across the global plastics value chain for the first time to explore ways forward and agree pilot projects.

Re-thinking plastic – Reviewing plastic packaging materials, formats, after-use systems and standards in order to create a picture of ‘what good looks like’ in economic and environmental terms.

Innovating for scale – Developing innovative solutions with the potential to scale globally.

Building knowledge – Informing efforts through critical economic and scientific research.

Engaging with stakeholders – Inviting people including citizens, teachers, students, policymakers, NGOs and industry associations to participate in redesigning the plastic system.

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MBA Polymers’ Founder and Director Mike Biddle will speak at the sixth Plasticity Forum this September. Entitled “Designing for the Future – Plastic and the Circular Economy”, the event will be held in London as part of the London Design Festival.

At the Plasticity Forum, speakers from across the plastics industry and beyond explore how to harness waste plastic in new ways, both pre and post consumer use. The event aims to inspire collaboration across multiple aspects including design, materials, innovation, reuse and waste reduction.

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MBA’s R&D Director Brian Riise will speak at the Global Automotive Plastics Industry Summit in Shanghai on MBA’s work in developing high quality recycled plastics for use in the automotive industry.

The automotive polymer market continues to demonstrate robust growth, with many high performance materials and innovative production technologies coming to the fore. As the trend towards light-weighting continues, a new study projects that the automotive plastics market will reach $53bn by 2022. The Summit will promote knowledge exchange and collaboration between all industry stakeholders.

Global Automotive Plastics Industry Summit.

The MBA Polymers team will speak at the K Show in Düsseldorf this October. The show is the world’s leading event for the plastics and rubber industry. Visitors will be able to see the latest innovations and hear about progressive visions for the future.

John Gysbers (MBA Polymers’ OEM Business Development Manager, Asia) is set to speak at the fourth annual E-waste World Conference in Shanghai, China. His talk will cover MBA’s knowledge and experience of e-waste recycling in China.

Tackling e-waste is a pressing issue for China, which now produces the most e-waste anywhere in the world. As part of this effort, it will be vital to reform and regulate the informal recycling sector. There’s also a growing demand for foreign technology and consulting to help generate innovation in recycling.

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MBA Polymers Director of R&D Brian Riise will be speaking in September at Electronics Goes Green 2016 on the subject of “PC/ABS from Shredded Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment”. His colleague Chris Slijkhuis, of Müller-Guttenbrunn, MBA’s Joint Venture partner in Austria, will discuss how MBA’s work relates to the Circular Economy.

The upcoming Electronics Goes Green conference 2016 is aimed at the growing global community of scientists, product developers and business managers working to improve the environmental impact of technologies and products along the electronics and technology value chain.

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MBA Polymers will be attending ChinaPlas 2016 from April 25-28 in Shanghai China. Mike Biddle (Founder and Board member), John Gysbers (OEM Business Development Manager, Asia) and Arnold Lim (General Manager of MBA Polymers China) will be meeting with customers and suppliers of equipment and additives at the exposition.

ChinaPlas (which began in 1983) is the largest trade show in Asia and the second largest in the world covering the plastics and rubber industries.

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Dr. Mike Biddle, MBA’s founder and Board member, will give a keynote presentation at Plasticity Forum in Shanghai, China, being held from April 27-28.

PLASTIC – A WASTED OPPORTUNITY: It’s versatile, it’s cheap, and it’s incredibly convenient. Yet despite being designed to throw away, plastic simply doesn’t go away. Plasticity is unique in its forward looking, collaborative discussion on what is happening, and how we can work together, to scale waste reduction of this valuable resource. The event brings together decision makers, innovators, brands, international associations, policy makers, and many more. You won’t want to miss this big discussion on plastic, and what companies and organizations are doing to reduce its waste impact.


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MBA Polymers will be attending the Annual Automotive Plastics Summit in Stuttgart, Germany from May 23-24. Peter Mackrell (Head of Quality and Product Development at MBA Polymers UK Ltd) will be presenting a paper entitled “Plastics Recovered from Shredded End-of-Life Vehicles” on May 23.

The Annual Automotive Plastics Summit will bring together experts, OEMs, suppliers, and academia to discuss, hear and learn about their experiences and challenges with automotive plastics design, migration and optimization, to network and enjoy excellent mix of case studies, interac­tive panel discussions, speed networking and workshops.

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MBA Polymers will be attending the Society of Plastics Engineer’s Annual Technical Conference (ANTEC®) in Indianapolis, Indiana from May 23-25.

Brian Riise (Director of R&D) will be presenting two papers describing MBA products recovered from end-of-life vehicles and electronics. Brian will present a paper (co-authored with Arthur Schwesig of MBA Polymers Austria) entitled “PC/ABS RECOVERED FROM SHREDDED WASTE ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT” is a in the Sustainable Materials and Processes session on May 23. He will then present a paper (co-authored with Peter Mackrell of MBA Polymers UK Ltd. and Amy Pye, Henryk Herman and Gary Stevens of GnoSys Global Ltd., ) entitled “RAPID SPECTRAL MEASUREMENT OF THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF POLYPROPYLENE RECOVERED FROM SHREDDED END-OF-LIFE VEHICLES” in the Polymer Analysis (Spectroscopy) session on May 25.

ANTEC®, produced by the Society of Plastics Engineers, is the largest, most respected and well known technical conference in the plastics industry. As the largest technical conference for plastics in the world for over 70 years, ANTEC® has successfully expanded from U.S. into Europe, India and the Middle East with further expansion to global locations in the coming years.

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