Through years of promotion, energy saving and environmental protection are now widely-adopted as the trends and the future of the plastics and rubber industries. As described by the organizer of CHINAPLAS 2010, the rising global awareness of environment protection has helped boost the demands for innovative energy-saving technologies, renewable and recyclable materials for production enhancement and products' competitiveness.
According to the latest report from Freedonia, worldwide demand on bioplastics (resins that are biodegradable or derived from plant-based sources) will increase to 900,000 tones in 2013 at an annual growth rate of 35.1%. The driving force is mainly from consumers' demand for environmentally sustainable products and the development of bio-based feedstocks for commodity resins.
In view of the growing attention to green plastics, CHINAPLAS this year is to host a series of concurrent activities under the theme of “Green Plastics • Our Goal • Our Future”.Timely theme
CHINAPLAS 2010, the 24th International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries, will soon open its doors for industry professionals from around the world on April 19. The four-day event to be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Shanghai, China, will present about 2,000 global exhibitors and their technologies for the plastics industry on a total exhibition area of 150,000 square metres.
CHINAPLAS is Asia’s No.1 plastics and rubber trade fair and the third largest in the world. Stanley Chu, Chairman of the organizer, Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd., comments that the selected theme for the show this year – “Green Plastics. Our Goal. Our Future” effectively outlines the future trend of the plastics industry.
Since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, the market has seen growing demand for technologies related to green manufacturing, such as energy saving machinery and green polymers, according to Mr Chu.
“With the increasing awareness of global environment protection, there is a continuous demand on green plastics and machines for energy-saving and emission reduction,” he says.
Promoting green technologies: Stanley Chu (Third from right): Liao Zhengpin (Second from right)
A number of topics related to environmentally friendly production in the plastics industry would be addressed in the “Industrial Forum on Green Plastics and Rubber” on the first three days of the show. Participants will include worldwide plastic materials and machine suppliers, technology experts and users, who will be sharing their experiences in applying green plastics technology, as well as successful cases in the sectors of automotive, building & construction, packaging, E&E, information technology and telecommunications.
Among the speakers are Liao Zhengpin from China Plastics Processing Industry Association, Qian Yaoen from China Plastic Machine Industry Association, Thorsten Kühmann from Europe's Association for Plastics and Rubber Machinery Manufacturers (EUROMAP), Neil Pratt from The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc (SPI) and Tsuguo Katsuura from the Japan Plastics Industry Federation.
In addition, there will be a “Green Corner” at the fairground to specially showcase advanced, environmentally-friendly plastic products and technologies.New concepts on plastics
Being one of the four most important fundamental materials in modern industry, plastics and rubber's range of application goes far beyond daily living goods, packaging products and exterior cases of electronic and electrical products, and its application has further extended to automotive, building and construction, medical and even aviation.
However, it has been misunderstood by the public that the utilization of plastics and rubber leads to serious environmental pollution. In fact, with speedy development of technology, plus innovation and utilization of green plastics and energy-saving plastics machines, the previous properties of high energy consumption, high emission and low degradability have been addressed, while the state-of-the-art plastics machines make it possible to streamline the procedure, reduce the raw materials so as to realize the concepts of green manufacturing and resource-saving, and help achieve sustainable development of eco-environmental protection and development of circular economy.
Liao Zhengpin, President of China Plastics Processing Industry Association who attended a CHINAPLAS 2010 press conference in Beijing, said that during China’s 12th Five-Year Plan, the industry would optimize the product design and economical use of materials, such as optimizing the design of hollow product and controlling its wall thickness, and to encourage domestic suppliers of plastics machines to develop energy conservation products.
Moreover, the industry will also step up recycling of plastic wastes and move toward circular economy and sustainable development; while also increasing effort on research and development of degradable plastics.
|Ten tips for green plastics processing|
1. Improve quality benchmark. The energy consumed to break down, recycle and reprocess sub-standard plastics parts is 2 to 10 times more.
2. Choose the right cooling media for your plastics machinery. Cleaning of cooling system requires more than a half day’s work.
3. Adopt latest alternative of heating for injection molding machine. For instance, the use of electromagnetic induction can lower electricity consumption by 20~70%.
4. Adopt latest servo driving technologies. Machinery with servo driving structure saves energy as well as space.
5. Utilize bioplastics in high-performance, important applications – bioplastics should not be used only in disposable items.
6. Realize “zero emission” in building and construction by employing polymeric insulation materials.
7. Keep a close eye on the growth of polymer business. For solar industries, it is expected that the related polymer consumption in the next ten years will grow not less than 50%.
8. Integrate steps into a single production unit, whenever possible. Leading injection molding machine makers have all developed similar unit.
9. Plan better from the design stage if you want to produce a product with eco-friendly features.
10. Understand the lifecycle of each product part in production. Green manufacturing goes beyond the selection of green materials.