Media Field Trip / The Netherlands
From production to recycling: Bringing the PVC value chain to life
Specialised trade media from across Europe gathered in The Netherlands to attend European Plasticisers’ annual press visit sponsored by VinylPlus. Journalists were hosted at Shin Etsu (Pernis), Kras Recycling (Volendam) and Draka Polymer Films (Enkhuizen) – a producer, recycler and converter.
The first stop was at Shin Etsu where Perry Walters, Technical Manager of European Plasticisers, provided a regulatory update on recent developments and showcased the industry’s efforts to promote science, innovation, responsibility and sustainability.
“This is the sixth year we host the press trip and, as every year, we see the incredible value it brings to the journalists and the industry itself. It allows us to show first-hand how the PVC industry works bringing us all those products essential to our everyday lives. Building and maintaining our relationship with the media is important to European Plasticisers, and what better way to do that than this trip”, said Perry Walters.
Arjen Sevenster, from the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM), presented the PVC industry’s commitment to sustainable development through the VinylPlus initiative. He showcased the industry’s contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and their achievements so far. In 2018, all VinylPlus participating companies recycled a total of 739,525 tonnes of vinyl.
The day continued with a presentation from Shin Etsu, an industry leader in PVC, supplying a variety of products, including plasticisers, to companies worldwide. Catherine Michel, Technical Service & Product Liaison Manager and Albert Keukens, Senior Process Engineer, explained the process of making flexible PVC using plasticisers and the key performance properties they offer. During the plant and lab visits, the experts showed journalists how plasticisers are added to PVC to enable flexibility and durability, which is then used to create applications such as cling film, hot water bottles and wallpaper.
On the second day, the first stop was Kras Recycling where the CEO, Ben Kras, introduced the company and explained how industrial waste is recycled closing the loops on the vinyl life-cycle closes. A visit into the Kras Recycling grounds followed, where the journalists experienced first-hand each step of the recycling process from collection to sorting to processing to the raw material.
The last stop was at Draka Polymer Films where Chief Commercial Officer, Gianfranco Zanellati, presented the company. Innovation lies at the core of the company and using flexible PVC to deliver innovation through their products has enabled them to be the world’s leading supplier of polyolefin films. The plant visit allowed journalists to understand how certain applications are made, such as stationery products, paramedical devices and decorative films.
“European Plasticisers continually strives to raise awareness of the infinite opportunities and benefits flexible PVC offers. Through this trip, we provide a platform for industry and the media to ask questions and build relationships, and at the same time to showcase the great strides our industry continues to take towards sustainability and innovation”, said Perry Walters.