German Plastics Associations forge important alliance by forming “We are plastics“


The three large German plastics associations GKV Gesamtverband Kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie, Plastics Europe Deutschland and VDMA Fachverband Kunststoff- und Gummimaschinen have forged a unique alliance in the value chain to achieve greater sustainability – ecological, social and economic.

Including the five GKV member associations, the partners are committed to the mission of a circular economy and intend to actively promote the transformation of the plastics industry, with open communication playing a key role. By providing more facts and information on the transformation of the industry – for instance the latest studies on the transition towards becoming more circular – the participants want to achieve greater appreciation for plastics as a material of the future. The new platform (available in German and English) is also intended to contribute to this.

Circular Economy: for plastics, the future is round
The plastics industry is changing: Together, the companies in the plastics industry and their customers want to use fewer resources and significantly reduce their environmental footprint. Besides introducing new raw materials for use in plastics production, such as biomass or CO2, the resource plastic is to be recycled as completely as possible. This is already working quite well with PET bottles or the industry’s own collection systems, such as for window profiles, but yet not everywhere.

Industry and many initiatives are researching sustainable solutions at full speed, often in close cooperation with customers, policy makers and NGOs. Some of these programmes are already underway or established: “Eco Design” for sustainable product design, research partnerships on chemical recycling, the “Zero Pellet Loss” alliance on preventing pollution, or the “ERDE” initiative for collecting and recycling agricultural films.

“We are plastics” wants to share the enormous wealth of experience of its more than 3,000 member companies in the future, network individual initiatives more closely, think and act outside the box, support members with the transformation and jointly represent positions on shaping the circular economy.

Self-critical and self-confident communication
For the associations, the fact that in the past people have mainly talked about the plastics industry rather than with it also has to do with the fact that contacts were not always easy to find. This is to change with the new platform: The dialogue with consumers and NGOs is a particularly important concern for “We are plastics.” At the same time, the associations are aware of the problems associated with plastics at the end of their useful life – above all due to littering and disposes into waters and oceans. These challenges can only be mastered by working together. This is also a main concern of the initiative.

While the public debate on plastics has thus far focused on the undoubtedly important issue of waste, the associations are bringing in other equally important aspects such as new (raw) materials, processes and resource efficiency. Plastics are essential to create value, participation, prosperity and, above all, to enable climate protection. One focus of the web offering is therefore on innovations that inspire through their more sustainable use of the material of the future in a functioning circular economy.


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