New group aims to clear plastics’ name

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The China Synthetic Resin Supply & Sale Association made its debut at the Chinaplas 2012 trade show in Shanghai. The trade group was formed by merging the former China Engineering Plastics Industry Association and the China Chemicals Supply & Sale Association and will host its first general assembly meeting in June.

The new group will aim to “clear the name of plastics,” among other tasks, said its chairman, Yang Weicai, at a news conference at Chinaplas, held April 18-21 in Shanghai.

Yang said plastics have transformed the world with their exceptional affordability, flexibility in design and production, light weight and durability, and are used in numerous applications and sectors, he said. In the meantime, however, the safety and environmental impact of both plastics products and processing are increasingly raising public concern, especially in China.

“Some unlawful businesses have damaged the reputation of the plastics industry in their profiteering. Combined with the lack of effective regulatory efforts, it has resulted in a trust crisis among consumers,” Yang said.

In addition, because consumers generally lack deep knowledge of plastics and are bombarded with misleading, anti-plastics media reports, plastics has been demonized, he said.

“Our responsibility is to take steps to help the public correctly understand plastics and the safe use of plastics products. Secondly, we need to come up with real solutions to end environmental pollutions caused by waste plastics. Last, but not the least, we’ll guide the industry to better regulate itself and make sure the businesses comply with regulations and manufacture safe products in an environmentally friendly way,” Yang said.

Plastics companies need to pay more attention to sustainability and the laws of nature, instead of just making a quick profit, added Zheng Kai, secretary general.

The association said it is determined to invest in marketing campaigns that will inform consumers of objective knowledge and understanding of plastics materials and products.

Other important and fundamental tasks on the new group’s agenda are to maintain the balance of the marketplace, coordinate relations and protect its members — including materials-research institutes, suppliers, compounders, processors, trading companies and logistics providers.

China is the largest consumer of synthetic resins and the second-largest producer after the U.S., Yang said. In 2011, China produced 105.8 billion pounds of resins, 14 percent more than the previous year. The association forecasts that, by 2015, China’s consumption of plastic resins will reach 220.5 billion pounds and domestic production, 154.3 billion pounds.

“The competition in China’s resin market will intensify,” Zheng said in a separate interview with Plastics News. “The current talks of free-trade zones — such as the free-trade deal between China, South Korea and Japan — will speed up the changes of the global marketplace and affect Chinese resin suppliers as well as global suppliers that have production facilities in China.”

He added, “We will represent the industry’s interests in various ways and help the government formulate policies and regulations, including the synthetic resin industry’s 12th five-year plan”, he added.

The association will establish more than a dozen subcommittees to cover specific areas like polyolefins, ABS and compounding.