Plastic has become an inescapable part of our daily lives. Its unique combination of functionality, durability and low cost has made plastic the material of choice in the 21st century, for everything from airplanes to earbuds. However, despite its many advantages, linear plastic value chains represent a growing environmental challenge as they are heavily reliant on fossil feedstocks and responsible for over 8 million tonnes of plastic waste, which leaks into our oceans at an estimated annual cost of $2.5tr to society.
While Switzerland has highly efficient waste collection systems, it generates over 100 kg of plastic waste per capita, over three times the European average, the large majority (75%) of which is incinerated in waste-to-energy plants. Amidst growing consumer concerns around plastic pollution, there is also increasing pressure on many Swiss companies to reduce their plastic use and invest in reusable or biodegradable alternatives.
In light of these challenges, the development of circular plastic value chains represents an exciting opportunity to close material loops, eliminate waste and delink economic growth from increasing resource use.
- Plastic packaging plays a key role in protecting and preserving food. Removing plastic from food applications can result in increased food wastage and associated environmental impacts. When is plastic the right material to use and how do we find the right balance?
- Biobased and biodegradable plastics are becoming increasingly common on the market but few people understand what they are and whether they are an improvement on existing plastics. Where can these alternatives best be used and what are their environmental impacts?
- By many, improving recycling is seen as the solution to “the plastic problem”. However, only 14% of plastic is currently recycled globally. What are the challenges of improving recycling systems and rates both in Switzerland and elsewhere around the world?
- Circular systems require high levels of collaboration across all the stakeholders within the value chain. Plastic value chains are complex and globalised; how can companies, governments and consumers collaborate across geographical, political, technological and social boundaries to create a more circular system?
- What exactly are the Swiss businesses and organisations that are working on this issue doing in their efforts towards a circular plastic economy?
Join GreenBuzz Zurich at this thematic evening to participate in the discussion about the challenges and opportunities associated with a circular plastic economy and meet some of the businesses working in this space.
Who is it for?
- Professionals interested in the topic
- Sustainability managers
18:00 – 18:30 Registration
18:30 – 18:45 Welcome by GreenBuzz, By host / sponsor
18:45 – 19:45 Speaker (tba) inputs, host inputs from Guest Speakers (tba) with Q&A, moderated by GreenBuzz
19:45 – 19:55 Wrap-up
19:55 – 21:30 Apero / Buzzing
What: Thematic Evening: Closing the Loop: Towards a Circular Plastic Economy
When: January 2020 (exact date tba), 18:00 – 21:30
Where: WWF Switzerland, Hohlstrasse 110, Zurich
Employees of our corporate partners can gain free tickets for this event. Please check here if your employer is a member of GreenBuzz and use your corporate discount code to register.