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160 experts and leaders from the entire PET value chain in Europe and beyond met at the 2016 Petcore Europe sold-out conference in Brussels, Belgium on 23 February. Presented by high-level speakers from the industry as well as from the European institutions, the four conference themes Sustainability, Circular Economy, Innovation and Globalisation reflected the key drivers for the PET industry today.

The first session of the conference dedicated to Sustainability gave an outline of different EU projects like the EU Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) or the EU Polymark project focusing on the development of a novel marking identification technology for differentiating high value plastics in waste streams. Furthermore, speakers discussed European regulation on food-contact recycled PET as well as the emerging problem of recycling PET thermoforms.

The main focus of the second session on Circular Economy lied on the European Commission overview of the new package, and the latest survey on PET highest collection and recycling performance among all plastics packaging in Europe.

The Innovation session outlined the penetration of PET replacing conventional materials in new markets such as large volume water coolers and kegs, aerosols, and novel recycling technologies for coloured PET.

The last session on Globalisation was dedicated to the inter-connection of work including NAPCOR activities in the US as well as the marine litter issue presented by Waste Free Oceans. After Alexander Büchler’s presentation on WikiPETia, the new knowledge management system for the PET value chain, the session was concluded by a panel debate about the effective communication on PET to the public.

The conference was originally planned to take place in November 2015, but – due to the security situation in Brussels – had to be postponed to early 2016. The next Petcore Europe conference will be held in Brussels in February 2017.

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