A big thank you to the DC Benelux Team Dominique van Hemelrijck, Steef Korfker and Bernard Merkx!
At its second ”Planet in Transition Symposium“ in Rotterdam, Diplomatic Council Benelux impressively demonstrated how to produce everyday objects with used plastics. This marks a breakthrough in the fight against the littering of our environment through plastic waste. Already now, whole regions in Asia and Africa are suffering under the ever increasing mountains of waste with around eight tons of plastic waste ending up in our oceans every year. In the ocean, the plastics decompose into microparticles which then serve as food eaten by the fish and as a result enters the food cycle again: We are eating our own plastic waste!
Against this background, the reutilisation of plastics plays a key role. It seems absurd to use garbage bags that are made of new plastics for which crude oil is needed again. The Diplomatic Council has therefore introduced a new generation of garbage bags produced from recycled plastics. One roll of forty recycled garbage bags can be produced at the cost of € 1,20. In light of this price level and the production capacity, this product is ready for series production and municipalities, retail and wholesale can offer these recycled garbage bags to the population.
At the symposium in Rotterdam, the Benelux team also introduced a number of further items and products that are made of old plastics such as tables, chairs, bottles, garments and other daily objects. The team’s objective is to kick-off the rethinking process: producing new plastics from old plastics should become the normal case and not the exception as it is today. At the upcoming DC Gala on February 1, 2019 a wide collection of recycled plastic products will be introduced.
At its first Planet in Transition Symposium in 2017, Diplomatic Council Benelux presented the transition from new to recycled plastics (Raw Material Transition). However, this is not enough: as important as it is to have a raw material transition, we need to have an energy transition and a social transition as well. Talking about the plastics industry, this means, the recycling has to be made with renewable energy. And what about the social transition? This means that consumers must increasingly request that plastic items are made of recycled materials instead of using new raw materials. It must become the normal case that raw materials are being used again and again and again. In this context, it is also important to overcome traditional thinking and behaviour and create new ideas. For example, it is possible to use plastic granulate for 3D printers which again can produce a number of other things.