“Sustainability 5.0 of Plastic”: Picchetto Fratin, Minister of the Environment, at the Opening Conference
Governmental representatives and business community leaders at the opening of PLAST 2023
Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, Minister of the Environment and Energy Security, and Valentino Valentini, Deputy Minister of Business and the Made in Italy, took part in the inaugural conference of PLAST, an international exhibition dedicated to the plastics and rubber industry.
Titled Sustainability 5.0 of plastic: scenarios and developments from production to end-of-lifecycle, the opening conference included a roundtable featuring prominent names in industry, such as Alessandra Colombo, Head of Circular Economy and Sustainability for Versalis, a chemical company in the Eni group focusing on sustainable and circular chemicals to create stakeholder value and contribute to the energy transition; Cristina Miele, Administrative and Financial Director and Manager of Ferrarelle Società Benefit, fourth Italian mineral water group by volume; Nico Fontana, Managing Director of Montecolino, a textile flooring and wall-covering company, and Mario Bagna, Managing Director of Interzero Italy, key circular economy partner for companies in any industry seeking to develop integrated environmental solutions.
The two governmental representatives underscored the desire of institutions to support business and workers to create ideal conditions for increasing competitiveness on the global market. The capital equipment industry is a showpiece of the Italian economy and an international market leader. In 2022 the turnover for the industry was 55.4 billion euros, a 10.7% increase over 2021 and a new record. The outlook for 2023 is again positive: turnover is projected to rise to 57.7 billion euros, +4.1% with respect to 2022 (source: Federmacchine).
“In Italy the issue is not that of eliminating plastic, a material with well known properties and usefulness. This is something that the fair communicates excellently” stated Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, Minister of the Environment and Energy Security. “The goal instead is to create an instrument that addresses the entire lifecycle of plastics in order to protect the environment and human health. The objective is to eliminate plastic pollution, which is unquestionably a serious problem for our ecosystems. Once again, we need to be guided by science, not ideology. The technology on such prominent display here at the fair is continually developing and we have to help it keep pace with our heightened concern for the environment and the inevitable process of ecological transition. In this, the operators in the plastics value chain must certainly take a leadership role. And also, as a nation, we have to seize the opportunities that certain strongly interdisciplinary industries and value chains offer in the realm of bioeconomics and the circular economy.”
“PLAST is a high profile European event for the plastics industry. With turnover of 25 billion euros, 70% of which from sales abroad, this industry represents a showpiece for the Made in Italy,” stated Valentino Valentini, Deputy Minister of Business and the Made in Italy. “The plastics value chain continues to push the frontiers of innovation and is fundamental for the ecological transition, one of the big objectives in Italy and Europe. Measures such as the industrial property code and the “Made in Italy bill ensure businesses an environment conducive to investment and to protecting Italian excellence in the world. With these and other provisions, the government guarantees and will continue to guarantee its support for industry.”
The event was organized by The Innovation Alliance, a project uniting five international trade fairs into a cohesive system, all showcases of excellence in the production of machinery, technologies, and materials for the manufacturing industry: PLAST, exhibition of the plastics and rubber industry; IPACK-IMA, leader in processing and packaging technologies for foods and non-foods; MEAT-TECH specialized in the processing and packaging of traditional and alternative protein sources; PRINT4ALL, a point of reference for the entire global community of converting, package printing, labelling, and commercial and industrial printing; INTRALOGISTICA ITALIA, dedicated to solutions and automated systems for industrial handling, warehouse management, and materials stocking, sorting, and lifting.
The Innovation Alliance – established in 2018 with a system approach to enhance time-to-market and offer opportunities for comprehensive thinking about related production sectors and develop the sustainability of new materials and research & development to boost global competitivity – returns in 2023 with an event addressing one of the trends that is revolutionizing both industry and society.
Talking about sustainable growth of the plastics industry within a circular economic system enjoying strong support from the government is thus the leitmotif for this opening event: plastic thus becomes the object of the new green concept being developed by companies in the industry.
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