Building on the successful session held in March earlier this year, Borouge, the leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions in the UAE, hosted in cooperation with the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) the 2nd Plastics Sustainability Roundtable in Abu Dhabi on September 9, 2013. The one-day event focused on the importance of sustainable plastics waste management practices in the Emirate.
The roundtable discussions were enriched with the participation of the Ministry of Environment & Water, Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi, Masdar, the Petroleum Institute and Abu Dhabi University. Presentations where provided by Dr. Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, Secretary General of the GPCA, Craig Halgreen, Borouge Vice President Global Communications and Dr. Martin Engelmann, Advocacy Director & Director of Resource Efficiency at Plastics Europe, who specifically provided an insight into the strategies being adopted across Europe to ensure sustainable waste management practices are embedded in society.
The major topics of the roundtable focused on the challenges and opportunities for plastics waste management, plastics litter and societal behaviour, conventional plastic bags versus alternative solutions and the valuable contribution of plastics to sustainability.
The irresponsible disposing of plastic waste and in particular plastic bags into the environment is one of the critical problems that the industry, government and environmental organisations are striving to resolve within the UAE.
Plastics producers believe that people should be encouraged to reduce their consumption of plastic bags, by reusing again-and-again strong, reusable polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) non-woven fibre plastic bags, and is concerned that oxo-biodegradable plastic bags may contaminate waste streams and cause problems to the recycling process of plastics. The industry cautions that oxo-biodegraadable plastic bags may encourage indiscriminate littering into the environment as society incorrectly believes they will totally disintegrate within a very short space of time.
The presenters highlighted the need to debate the right solutions to address plastics waste management issues and support awareness initiatives about the benefits of plastics and the importance of segregating and recycling consumer and post-consumer waste. They public should be more aware about the dangers of littering on land, air and marine life and adopt more sustainable environmentally-friendly approaches to disposing of their waste.
“As part of our commitment to ensure our products do not endanger society, through these Plastics Sustainability Roundtables we are building partnerships with environmental groups and government entities to encourage the development of effective sustainable solutions to manage plastics waste,” said Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge). “Innovative plastics add significant value to modern society and we encourage the responsible use of plastics and advocate the reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery of plastics to energy.”
“Plastics are an integral part of today’s lifestyle and GPCA is committed to working with stakeholders across the Gulf region to help identify and enable sustainable solutions in the area of plastics waste management,” said Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General of the GPCA. “The commitment shown by the stakeholders who actively participated in the 2nd Plastics Sustainability Roundtable is commendable and we look forward to further successful discussions.”
Statistics reveal that the UAE has one of the highest per capita waste generation rates in the world. About 12 million tonnes of waste are generated in Abu Dhabi alone and currently more than 75% of that waste ends up in landfills that are harmful to the environment.
Due to the rapid growth of rubanisation and modernization, the plastics industry in the GCC counties is booming with annual production expected to increase from the current 15 million tonnes to 25 million tonnes by 2015. Borouge is currently expanding the annual capacity of its plastics manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi from 2 million tonnes to 4.5 million tonnes per year to meet the growing demands of the infrastructure, automotive and advanced packaging markets in the Middle East and Asia.
Borouge’s innovative PE and PP plastics solutions that are made with the use of unique proprietary technologies contribute to addressing global challenges such as climate change, food protection, access to fresh water, energy conservation, healthcare and waste management. Plastics contribute to developing the high standard of living and are used for specialised packaging to preserve the freshness of food and make durable pipe systems that reduce water loss by up to 30%, reliable energy and communication networks and lightweight automotive components that reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions into the environment.
Borouge was established in 1998 as a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Austria based Borealis, a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions. It is a groundbreaking international partnership at the forefront of the next generation of plastics innovation.
Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), and Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General of the GPCA, addressed the participants of the Plastics Sustainability Roundtable.
Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General of the GPCA, Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), Obaid Saeed Al Dhaheri, Vice President International Affairs, and Engineer Aisha Al Abdooli, Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Water, shared their perspectives during the roundtable discussions
Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General of the GPCA, and Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), with the participants at the 2nd Plastics Sustainability Roundtable in Abu Dhabi.