Plastics industries in Asia need to talk more about the environmental benefits of plastics and work more closely with both government and the public sector, including urging governments to help change people's littering habits, according to leaders of the Asia Plastics Forum.
In a Sept. 15 news release, the APF, a group of 12 national plastics industry associations coordinated through the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association, called for strengthening ties with governments and plastics associations elsewhere in the world, to help improve the industry's image.
We should strongly work with our own government authorities to change the littering habits, which we believe [are] the cause of many environmental issues, said Callum Chen, secretary general of the APF.
We should work on a concerted effort through all the APF countries to continue to inform the public that plastics, when compared to other materials, do indeed leave a lesser carbon footprint on the environment, said Chen.
About 300 delegates from APF's 12 member countries, including China, India, Indonesia and Japan, met Sept. 3-4 in Taizhou, along with delegates from Africa, Europe and North America.
The question of how to better deal with waste from plastic bags and packaging was a focal point of discussion, with APF saying it wants to work more closely with Brussels-based PlasticsEurope and take advantage of its experience of bringing together 27 European countries in areas of health, safety and environmental issues. PlasticsEurope is a European association of plastics resin manufacturers.
A speaker from the Plastics Federation of South Africa told the delegates that industry should take responsibility and work with waste collectors and recyclers, and also educate the public that plastics are not the enemy of the environment.