What do you think are the three most important issues in the industry at the moment, both in Asia and globally?
Adiguno: Asia and Global are generating more plastic trash than ever, and very little of it gets recycled. Plastics and their byproducts are littering our cities, oceans, and waterways, and contributing to health problems in humans, animals and the environment.
One of the three most important issues in the industry is plastic as its own raw material. With this new plastics opportunity in mind, could plastic become its own solution? If the cornerstone of circular economy thinking is applied to plastics, if economic growth is decoupled from limited natural resource use, and if new ways are found to reuse plastic products already in existence the versatility of plastic may span new heights, create new value for businesses and protect and future-proof our planet.
A second important issue concerns the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment that was announced by UN Environment and the Ellen McArthur Foundation in October 2018 and that has more than 290 signatories. The commitment shows that many major public and private actors are now advocating for a circular economy model that closes the loop on plastics production and encourages innovative reuse. It is the view of these organizations that with the correct regulatory and policy boundary conditions, incentives and price signals, improved environmental consequences and increased economic growth can be concurrently achieved.
A third important issue are technological innovations that driving change. The era which we are entering, is defined largely by rapidly developing technological capabilities. The World Economic Forum and Accenture Strategy have identified three types of technologies that support the transition to a circular economy, which span the digital, physical, and biological realms. Sustainable innovation must be at the heart of the development of the technological capabilities that are fundamentally altering the world in which we live. A sustainable plastics innovation engine is already whirring into life, with many pioneering companies such as Banyan Nation, Evian & Loop Industries, Bureo and Perpetual Global using these Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to lead the charge in creating a new, waste-free plastics reality.