Campaign to highlight benefits of plastics
Sharjah, March 26, 2012
A campaign on the proper use of plastic and its benefits will be launched as part of the upcoming international plastics exhibition and conference Plastivision Arabia 2012 in Sharjah.
The campaign is named “Use abuse – you choose” and will be part of Plastivision Arabia, which will be organised and hosted by Expo Centre Sharjah from May 14 to 17.
The recent decision by the UAE to ban on all disposable plastics except those made from oxo-biodegradable ones has brought into focus how plastics are evolving in properties and performance as they replace conventional plastics and other materials, said a stattement.
Today, plastics have also replaced tonnes of metals in several sectors like manufacturing, automobiles, information technology and healthcare, among others, thus improving safety, cost-effectiveness, better working environments and ease in transportation.
“Plastic is the most versatile of materials and can be converted into thousands of everyday products that can be designed to meet almost any need. They can be soft as silk or hard as a rock. They can insulate against heat, cold or electricity. They can be light or heavy. It is hard to imagine a modern society without plastics,” said Saif Al Midfa, director general of Expo Centre Sharjah.
Advantages of plastics are plenty – they are light weight, chemically resistant, can easily be shaped, durable, easy to colour in the mass, thermally insulating, acoustically insulating, electrically insulating and energy saving.
“Some of the main advantages of plastic materials are also the reason why plastic is such a problem. It lasts forever and it is very cheap to make -- the reason why they are disposed of with utter disregard to public and environmental health. With corporate social responsibility being the new-age mantra, there is a need to encourage people to dispose of and recycle plastics carefully so that optimal use can be made out of it,” he said.
Besides, aiming to spread awareness about safe disposal of plastics and encourage recycling, a day-long workshop, to be sponsored by AIPMA-All India Plastic Manufacturers Association, will be held on the sidelines of the show on May 16.
Contrary to common perception, plastics have many environmental advantages too. “Plastic saves resources, it has low thermal conductivity, low friction coefficient, is light, has low electrical conductivity, needs minimal maintenance and is resistant to solvents and many other chemicals,” said Abdulaziz Al Serri, chairman and managing director of K-PAK..
“Plastics as such is not a menace... it becomes a menace when we overuse them, dispose them casually and fail to reuse or recycle them appropriately. These ‘unnatural’ synthetics, intelligently deployed, could turn out be nature’s best ally,” he added.
The UAE ban is aimed at curbing the indiscriminate use of plastics that are harmful to health and environment, and promoting oxo-biodegradable plastic which has a controlled lifespan and ability to biodegrade completely either on land or water.
“Plastivision Arabia will be the right platform for plastic manufactures and providers of raw materials to assess new market developments like the ban and reorient their businesses accordingly,” said Jayesh Rambia, president, AIPMA. “For instance, the ban could mean an opportunity to supply oxo-biodegradable plastic to a market estimated at 500,000t,” he added.
The UAE ban covers not just plastic bags, but all packaging and disposable articles made from plastic polymers derived from fossil-fuels. These include flexible shopping bags and semi-rigid plastic packaging for food, magazines, consumer-durables, garbage bags, bin-liners for household use, shrink wrap, pallet wrap and cling film, among other items. - TradeArabia News Service
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