BKV event: "Plastics in the environment - focus on pellet losses"
On November 30, 2023, BKV GmbH held an online event to provide data, facts and possible actions to prevent pellet losses, and also to discuss possible measures along the plastics value chain. Pellet losses in Germany were examined in more detail in a study conducted by Conversio Market & Strategy GmbH on behalf of BKV, which was published as a "Special report on pellet losses". The results of this study were presented at the event.
After an introduction to the current global discussion at the United Nations, the second part of the event provided information on industry initiatives in the plastics value chain, recent developments, prevention measures and best practices in day-to-day operations. These activities were presented briefly by experts from BASF, Plastics Europe Deutschland, pro-K and MKV Kunststoffgranulate.
The spontaneous interest in BKV GmbH's event was very high. A widely diverse group of participants with representatives from industry, science, administration and the authorities, as well as consultants and the technical press took up BKV's invitation. Within the industry, the entire plastics value chain was represented: from members of the chemical industry, plastics producers, masterbatch manufacturers and plastics processors working in a wide range of different sectors, to plastics recyclers, users and brand owners. The authorities and administration were represented internationally as well as at Bundesländer and at Federal level. The participating companies and associations were not only from Germany, but also from Austria and Belgium. The technical event was moderated by BKV‘s Managing Director, Dr. Ingo Sartorius.
Pellet losses can occur during the production, conversion and recycling of plastics as well as during transportation. In many plastics converting companies, they are already either directly avoided or collected and treated accordingly by means of suitable management, cleaning systems and other measures. Christoph Lindner, Managing Director of Conversio Market & Strategy GmbH, and Research Director Matthias Arnold from Conversio presented and explained facts, figures and data on pellet losses in Germany from the "Special report on pellet losses". It was explained where plastic pellets can be released into the environment and which discharge pathways are particularly relevant. One of the conclusions was that transportation and logistics play an important role. The study also provides an estimate of the quantities of plastic pellets that remain in the environment.
The impulse presentation by Victoria Wessolowski from BASF SE on the UN Plastics Convention and the subsequent discussion showed that the topic is both complex and comprehensive. Plastics in the environment are also avoided through an effectively developed circular economy. Following the latest UN consultations in Nairobi in November, intensive work is continuing on global regulations. A global agreement is to be finalised and negotiated by the end of 2024. Dr Alexander Kronimus, Head of Climate Protection and Circular Economy at Plastics Europe Deutschland, explained how pellet losses in plastics production can be avoided through the voluntary "Operation Clean Sweep" initiative by plastics manufacturers in Europe and its certification programme of the same name, which was launched at the beginning of 2023. Sven Weihe, Managing Director of pro-K Industrieverband langlebige Kunststoffprodukte und Mehrwegsysteme e.V. in Frankfurt, explained the measures taken by plastics processors with regard to pellet losses. Numerous best practice examples were presented. Finally, Rainer Zies, Managing Director of MKV Kunststoffgranulate, provided a picture of what recycling companies are specifically doing to avoid pellet losses.
The event illustrated a variety of measures that can be taken to effectively prevent pellet losses. This includes action by the management in the company, as well as quality and precautionary rules and much more. It is crucial that measures are observed and applied along the entire value chain. For this reason, the continuation of the joint exchange between all relevant stakeholders from business and administration is expressly recommended. In addition, BKV will continue to focus on microplastics, including plastic pellets, as part of its chief topic, plastics in the environment. The facts derived from studies and projects also provide an important basis in this area.
You can download here a short version of the “Special report on pellet losses” and the presentation documents from the event:
- "Special report on pellet losses" Christoph Lindner and Matthias Arnold, Conversio Market & Strategy GmbH
- Brief presentation on „UN Plastics Treaty“, Victoria Wessolowski, BASF SE
- Brief presentation „Pelletverluste aus Sicht der Kunststofferzeuger“, Dr. Alexander Kronimus, PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V.
- Brief presentation „Pelletverluste aus Sicht der Kunststoffverarbeiter“, Sven Weihe, pro-K Industrieverband langlebige Kunststoffprodukte und Mehrwegsysteme e.V.
- Brief presentation „Pelletverluste aus Sicht eines Recyclingbetriebs“, Rainer Zies, MKV GmbH Kunststoffgranulate
- BKV GmbH (7.12.2023)
- Image: © Conversio Market & Strategy GmbH