RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (May 25, 2:35 p.m. ET) — Next month more than 50,000 people will gather in Rio de Janeiro for Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
The plastics industry will be part of the action at Plasticity Rio '12, a side event that is “all about the future of plastic and where the leaders are going,” said Doug Woodring, founder of the Hong Kong-based Ocean Recovery Alliance and an event partner.
Rather than talking about problems that plastics pose for the environment, Plasticity will focus on solutions, he said. Participants will talk about the ideas and innovations from packaging design to material recovery, Woodring said in a phone interview.
Most speakers will be from the plastics arena and will include brand owners, entrepreneurs, and decision makers from a variety of sectors, like waste-to-fuel and recycling, he said.
The conference is collaboration between the non-profit Ocean Recovery Alliance; Republic of Everyone, a marketing and consulting firm based in Surry Hills, Australia; New York-based consultants Applied Brilliance LLC; and event organizers Método Eventos of Rio de Janeiro. Woodring said Plasticity has been endorsed by the Clinton Foundation, UNEP, Mission Blue/Google Ocean and the Taiwan Plastics Development Center.
To kick-off Plasticity and get people involved, organizers are holding Capturing Gold, a competition that challenges participants to find new ways to recover and reuse discarded PET bottles.
“The whole world knows what PET bottles are. And though they're the most recycled … there's still so many made that there's a lot of gold out there that isn't being harvested,” Woodring said.
The online contest, hosted at competition.plasticityforum.com, is also collaborative. Anyone can submit an entry and other participants can offer suggestions or feedback. The goal is to generate the best ideas possible, he said.
The contest ends June 8 and the best ideas will be presented at Plasticity.