Sustainable Plastics Live — part of the Plastics Live consortium of plastic manufacturing events — announced that for 2023 it is joining forces with Innovate UK KTN organisers of the Global Research & Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) conference and will take place 10-11 May. This will mean that in conjunction, Sustainable Plastics Live and GRIPS will represent the only dedicated plastics sustainability event in the UK in 2023.
Scott Colman, Director of Plastics Live says: “Plastics Live launched in 2022, and uniquely combined 4 plastics-related events. Plastics Live itself focuses on cutting-edge developments in technology and service provision in the traditional plastics manufacturing sector; AMPLAS looks at the use of 3D printing/additive åmanufacturing to make plastic parts; Industry 4.0 in Plastics looks at how “smart,” connected operations across their shop floors can improve product quality, reduce costs and deliver customer orders on time; and Sustainable Plastics Live obviously focuses on the key sustainability issues facing the plastics sector today.
Between the shows, we have the ability to emphasise key areas of immediate interest by bringing one of the 4 focus areas to the forefront. In 2023, in association with GRIPS, it is the area of sustainability, with Plastics Live itself reducing its prominence so as not to detract from the Interplas event that features in 2023 on its 3-yearly cycle. For GRIPS to agree to co-host their seminal conference with us in 2023 is truly exciting for the Plastics Live group of events, which in its inaugural year has already become a fixture on the plastics events calendar.”
GRIPS is organised by the Innovate UK KTN and the UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN), which aims to bring together the diverse users of plastic products and realise the best means for reducing plastic waste entering the environment. Now in its 3rd year, GRIPS has joined forces with Plastics Live & Sustainable Plastics Live to become a live conference and exhibition bringing together companies and individuals to highlight the best of the UK and select international activities which will lead to plastics being less likely to reach landfill, end up incinerated, or become fugitive in the environment.
Dr Sally Beken, Knowledge Transfer Manager (Polymers) at KTN says: “GRIPS is such a powerful conference in the increasingly important and dynamic area of sustainability in plastics. Sustainable Plastics Live and GRIPS will run in parallel from 10-11th May 2023 and have a fundamental sustainability thread running through them.
The Industry 4.0 in Plastics event will continue to demonstrate how the combination of AI, robotics, and other advanced technologies applied across many sectors of the plastics economy including supply chain, distribution channels, and manufacturing, provides a significant impact on the natural environment leading to a reduction of pollution, decrease in greenhouse gases emission, decrease in energy consumption, and increase in profits simultaneously. The emergence of Industry 4.0 opens the opportunity of connectivity of technology with resources and skills in terms of sustainability benefits (zero impact — lower cost — social equity), and Industry 4.0 can reduce the environmental impact of a product, a process, or a service based on footprint data availability and traceable analysis.
Additionally, it helps to leverage a greater efficiency of functions such as reduction of resource consumption. Also, at AMPLAS, it can be seen how as a process in itself, additive manufacturing already represents a more sustainable means of production. This is particularly evident in the fact that 3D printing eliminates the use of excess material and thus unnecessary waste virtually from the outset. The technology also supports localised manufacturing, eliminating the need for environmentally costly international supply chains.”
Colman concludes, “The baseline is that plastics manufacturing moving forward must make sustainability a guiding principle at all levels of the operation. Manufacturing plastics sustainably requires companies to conduct business in a way that seeks to drive value creation for society, the environment, and industry. It also seeks improvement to reduce impacts on natural resources, minimising waste generation, and shifting towards renewable energy options, all of which reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.
The focus should be on measuring the impact of the numerous lifecycle stages of plastic products, consistent with the values of sustainable materials management, and manufacturers should strive to keep materials in circularity for remanufacturing whenever it yields the greatest environmental benefit. These activities should be measured and reported with integrity and transparency. I think that the Sustainable Plastics Live / GRIPS event will help to illuminate the path to sustainability in plastics manufacturing and the plastics lifecycle.”
Registration for the conference and the exhibition is now open here.
Find out more about Sustainable Plastics Live at sustainableplasticslive.co.uk.