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The 13th GPCA Plastics Conference was held from 13-14 May 2024 at the Address Sky View Hotel, Dubai, UAE

 

Dubai, UAE, 14 May 2024 – Arabian Gulf industry leaders reaffirmed their commitment to adopting a collaborative approach to develop plastic circularity, invest in Design for Recycling (DfR) and address plastic waste at the 13th annual Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Plastics Conference held from 13-14 May 2024 at the Address Sky View Hotel, Dubai, UAE.

Policy and regulations will play a crucial role in the journey to the Circular Economy and net-zero. Companies would need to accelerate their collaboration with industry partners in order to achieve greater impact, develop circular solutions, participate in and inform the development of the right policy framework, support waste management infrastructure and processes, and build prevention and awareness mechanisms on plastic waste in order to translate commitment into action.

Held under the theme “Innovating for Sustainable Growth – Charting the Future of Plastics”, the conference attracted leading global and regional plastic producers, policy makers, converters, brand owners, and recyclers to address the regulatory requirements and technological advancements necessary to solve the plastic waste challenge. Regional leaders addressed the opportunities and challenges to develop the converter sector in the region, diversify the GCC national economies, accelerate growth and support innovation.

Opening the conference in the morning on Day 1 Naser Aldousari, CEO, EQUATE Group and Chairman – Plastics Committee, GPCA, called upon the industry to collaborate and innovate for a more sustainable future for plastics. Jacob Duer, President and CEO, Alliance to End Plastic Waste, echoed his remarks in a Keynote address entitled “Beyond the solo act: Composing a sustainable future together”, in which he reiterated the need for global coordination and cooperation on addressing plastic waste.

In the morning on Day 2 the conference hosted a special session entitled “Industry watch: UNEA resolution 5/14 and the INC process: Key outcomes from Ottawa” featuring a Keynote address from Najla AlSudairy, Policy Head; Negotiator, Ministry of Energy, Saudi Arabia, and an on-stage conversation with Dr. Salman Alajmi, General Director, Kuwait Sustainability Society.

The session was followed by a Fireside chat with Jamila El Mir, Senior Advisor to the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, COP28, in conversation with Othaibah Saeed Al Qaydi, Director, Municipal Affairs, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, UAE, Monir Salem Bou Ghanem, Advisor – Environment Policy and Regulations, Integrated Environment Policy and Planning, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, and Priya Sarma, Chairperson, Circular Packaging Association and Head of Sustainability & Corporate Affairs, Personal Care Category, Unilever (Middle-East, Turkey), who discussed the opportunities and challenges in closing the loop on plastics for the Arabian Gulf region.

Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented: “The 13th GPCA Plastics Conference addressed important themes for the plastic industry in the region and globally, including what the plastics economy of the future should look like, how the industry can work together to help advance the conversion sector in the GCC, the growing focus on innovating for sustainability, and technological advancements in Design-for-Recycling (DfR). The event provided an invaluable opportunity for delegates to come together, network, share knowledge and shape the future of the industry.”

“On the final day of the conference industry leaders heared about the power of associations to accelerate the green transition, what are the latest advancements in recycling technology, how can the industry achieve zero plastic loss, priorities for the packaging industry, overcoming cost pressures and supply chain challenges, and much more.” he added.

Led by the GPCA Youth Council, the 19th GPCA Leaders of Tomorrow program took place on the sidelines of the event, welcoming 70 young professionals and students from across the Arabian Gulf region. Nadia Al-Hajji, CEO, PIC, delivered the welcome remarks as part of an insightful Day 1 program featuring a rapid fire round, a special workshop led by SABIC, and a site visit to a teardown facility in Ras Al Khaima, where attendees explored the application of plastics in the automotive sector.

The 13th GPCA Plastics Conference also hosted start-ups from the Mega Green Accelerator, a collaborative initiative between PepsiCo, SABIC, AstroLabs and other partners, designed to help innovators develop and scale sustainable solutions to address climate change.

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