LEADING IN A CHANGING WORLD
Symphony Environmental at the European Business Summit in Brussels
The Future of Europe as a Global Player
Symphony Environmental Technologies Plc (AIM: SYM)(“Symphony”), the global specialists in products and technologies that make plastic smarter, is proud to announce their participation at the European Business Summit 2018 at the Palais d’Egmont, Brussels, 23 to 24 May 2018.
Europe is working hard to improve the framework for investment and innovation in providing solid support to the plastics and packaging industry for the development and implementation of the circular economy. It is the first comprehensive policy response to the plastic challenge and is tackling design, manufacturing, use, recycling, disposal and mitigation of the environmental impact of plastics.
Michael Laurier, CEO of Symphony, was on the panel with, among others Jyrki Katainen, EU Commission Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Ulrike Sapiro, Director for Sustainability at Coca Cola, and Kestutis Sadauskas the EU Commission Director responsible for the Circular Economy.
The focus of discussions was how to trigger and maintain behavioural change in the plastics value chain. Michael Laurier made the following statements:
“Plastic litter is a global problem, and the solution needs to be affordable, not just in Europe, but in the poorer countries of the world where they do not have, and cannot afford, European style waste-management systems.
“90% of ocean waste is coming from ten of the largest water networks in the world, of which seven are in Asia, and three in Africa, contributing to a staggering 8 million tonnes of plastics ending up each year in our oceans.
“It is impossible to recycle everything and a significant quantity will always escape into the environment. PET (Polyethylene terephthalate), for example, can be recycled many times and still provide positive value, but a shopping bag, usually made of polyethylene, can only be recycled a maximum of two to three times before losing its important mechanical, optical and physical characteristics.
“A clear distinction needs to be made between various types of plastics during their usage and lifespan, hence the need for oxo-biodegradable technology to be used for plastics which could end up in the environment as litter.
“Symphony’s d2w oxo-biodegradable technology is sold into nearly 100 countries around the world. This technology (which is not the same as oxo-degradable and is not the same as compostable) has been around for four decades, and despite this, is still poorly understood in Europe.
“Oxo-biodegradable plastic is perfectly compatible with circular economy principles as it helps to reduce food waste, and it can be recycled with ordinary plastic if collected.
“It will also be useful to combat the growing problem of plastic litter in the open environment, particularly in the oceans of the world, where even though plastic waste is causing severe problems for wildlife and eco-systems, Europe has been slow to act.
“d2w oxo-biodegradable treated plastics do not cause microplastics – instead they will rapidly degrade to non-plastic materials within months of exposure in the open environment on land or sea. The materials are then no longer a plastic and will ultimately be biodegraded by fungi and bacteria in nature, in the same way as a leaf.
“80% of the plastic litter finding its way into the world’s oceans originates on land. If less plastic were able to accumulate on land, less would find its way into the marine environment.
“Oxo-biodegradable plastic is a drop-in technology, added at the manufacturing stage and does not require specialist machinery or workforce training. It is an affordable technology as the finished product on-cost would generally range from zero to 4%.”
Addressing the international audience of business and political leaders, Michael Laurier called for the adoption of an oxo-biodegradable plastic technology, like d2w, as eleven countries around the world have already done.