Hot topics include Recycling Solutions Zone and Circular Economy Conference
T-PLAS, the International Trade Fair for the Plastics and Rubber Industries, makes a highly anticipated comeback to Bangkok, Thailand, from 20–23 September 2023, after a four-year pandemic-induced hiatus. The trade fair continues to serve as a wide-ranging business and sourcing platform for the plastics and rubber industries, showcasing the latest machinery, equipment, raw materials, and services.
Thailand's standing as a leading regional hub for plastics manufacturing, coupled with its potential to become a bio-plastics hub in the next decade, positions the country as an attractive market for international businesses. T-PLAS 2023 will bring together 250 exhibitors from 20 countries – including manufacturers, producers, and industry experts serving the plastics and rubber value chain from around the world. National and country groups are also expected from Austria, China, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Gernot Ringling, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf Asia, expressed confidence in the upcoming edition, stating, "After a pause since 2019, the show floor was sold-out ahead of the exhibition so we are delighted to bring T-PLAS to the forefront once again. This edition will be a benchmark event for the industry, offering a dynamic regional marketplace for sourcing, networking, and conducting business. The Southeast Asian market holds immense relevance in the world of plastics, with its vibrant and diverse economy driving demand and innovation.”
Asia’s role in plastics production
In 2021, global plastic production reached 390.7 million tonnes, with 352.3 million tonnes from fossil raw materials, 32.5 million tonnes from recycled plastic, and 5.9 million tonnes from bio-based plastics. The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) reported 29.88 million tonnes of rubber produced and consumed during the same period. Over 50% of global plastic production now occurs in Asia, a region that also dominates rubber production. These figures underscore the critical role of plastics and rubber industries in the global economy and highlight the increasing significance of sustainability solutions.
Against this backdrop T-PLAS 2023 is timely as the plastics market continues to be driven by increasing demand for packaging materials and biodegradable plastics. The market's growth is being further catalysed by the increasing applications of plastic across various sectors, from food and beverage, textiles, automotive, to construction, and electrical & electronics. Potential for further growth is particularly high as demand for bioplastics continues, especially in developed countries is rising. Currently, 90 percent of Thailand’s bioplastics production is exported.
Thailand: Global bio-plastics hub
Thailand has emerged as the world's second-largest producer of bioplastics, trailing only behind the United States, a testament to the Thai government's commitment to the bio-circular-green (BCG) economy as a means to achieve greater economic and environmental sustainability. The country is well-positioned in part because of its robust agricultural sector that provides a wealth of raw materials for bio and green industry.
According to the Thai Bioplastics Industry Association, Thailand now has the capacity to produce 95,000 tonnes of bioplastics per year. Viboon Pungprasert, President, Thai Bioplastics Industry Association said some applications in industries are suitable to use bioplastics in order to reduce carbon footprint; “bioplastics can support the need of industries that are looking for carbon-neutral solutions and T-PLAS 2023 is the right place.”
MLT Analytics notes that the ranking cited above refers to biodegradable plastics. Brazil, for example, has capacity for 260,000 tonnes annually of bio-based polyethylene and is in discussions with Thailand’s SCG Chemicals to establish a local presence for the manufacture of bio-based resins derived from sugar cane. MLT Analytics recently published a report
T-PLAS 2023 aims to navigate the complex and dynamic landscape of the plastics industry and contribute to the shift towards a circular economy by addressing challenges and opportunities in areas such as advanced processing and sorting technologies, development of new materials, and efficient recycling infrastructures. This comes as Thailand enters Phase 3 of its 12-year road map (2018–2030) on plastic waste management, with a strong focus on reducing single-use plastics and achieving a 100% target for recycled plastics based on circular economy principles.
What’s new at T-PLAS:
Recycling Solutions Zone
Introducing the Recycling Solutions zone at T-PLAS 2023, where more than 15 companies share best practice applications and processes, representing diverse recyclate use in new plastic products and innovative approaches to dealing with plastic waste. This zone offers an ideal platform for visitors to connect with plastic processors, buyers, and sellers of recycled resin, equipment suppliers and manufacturers, and other potential business partners. Among the line-up include Zerma (Thailand) with their energy-efficient slow-speed granulators, and iconic local brand - Mitr Pohl Biotech with their plant-based and compostable solutions targeted particularly at plastic converters. Other global players in the plastics recycling space who are also on-board, include: Austrian stalwart - Erema Engineering Recycling, Lindner Recyclingtech, NGR – Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen, Starlinger Recycling Technology, and from Germany – Gneuss and Sesotec - with their metal detectors and sorting systems, as well as from Taiwan – Polystar Machinery.
Forum on Recycling Solutions & Sustainability
The Forum includes a line-up of topics covering advancements in recycling, including melt filtration techniques, post-industrial recycling to sustainable biomaterial compounds and solvent recovery. Engage with renowned companies such as Rieckermann, Britas Recycling-Anlagen, Pack All Plastic-NGR, and other leading brand names as they pave the way for a more sustainable tomorrow.
Seminar: Circular Economy and Sustainable Challenges for Southeast Asia | 20 September
A one-day seminar delving into the Circular Economy and sustainability from diverse perspectives beyond just environmental considerations, the seminar explores strategic implementation strategies, economies of scale, ESG compliance, and more, aiming to achieve zero waste and 100% circularity without compromising overall sustainability. Geared towards professionals and stakeholders in the plastics and rubber sector, this event offers valuable insights into sustainable practices and solutions tailored to Southeast Asian markets. The panel sessions will feature speakers and industry experts from around the region representing both the public and private sectors. The topics include:
Panel Discussion 1 | Circularity & Sustainability — Can a company capitalise on the latest trends for profit yet be sustainable?
Panel Discussion 2 | Is Southeast Asia ready for the Circular Economy? Do we have the right policies in place to achieve zero carbon emissions?
Panel Discussion 3 | ESG Compliance and its Challenge —Multiple economic sectors emphasize the need for ESG. Yet, some companies comply without measurements in place. Are they really meeting those standards?
This year, T-PLAS will take place alongside Pack Print International, CorruTec ASIA, wire and Tube Southeast Asia, GIFA, and METEC Southeast Asia, creating a one-top platform offering unparalleled opportunities for industry players across multiple sectors.
For more information on T-PLAS 2023 and visitor registration, go to www.tplas.com