CHINA – New Chinese trade association China Synthetic Resin Supply & Sale Association says it aims to “clear the name of plastics” while searching for “real solutions” to end pollution caused by plastic waste.
Formed from the merger of the China Engineering Plastic Industry Association and China Chemicals Supply & Sale Association, the China Synthetic Resin Supply & Sale Association has come out in defence of plastics, highlighting the material’s properties such as affordability, lightweight, durable, and flexibility in design and production.
Noting that plastics are used in many applications and sectors, association chairman Yang Weicai said that while the increased public concern over the safety and environmental impacts of plastic processing and waste management is deserving of attention, the entire plastics industry should not be condemned as a whole.
“Some unlawful businesses have damaged the reputation of the plastics industry in their profiteering. Combined with the lack of effective regulatory efforts, it has resulted in a trust crisis among consumers,” Yang said.
In addition, consumers’ general lack of a deep knowledge of plastics combined with numerous anti-plastic media reports have resulted in plastics being “demonized”, he added.
“Our responsibility is to take steps to help the public correctly understand plastics and the safe use of plastics products,” said Yang, explaining that the association will be investing in marketing campaigns to educate consumers on plastic materials and products.
“Secondly, we need to come up with real solutions to end environmental pollutions caused by waste plastics. Last but not the least, we’ll guide the industry to better regulate itself and make sure the businesses comply with regulations and manufacture safe products in an environmentally friendly way.”
Association secretary general Zheng Kai also encouraged plastic companies to pay more attention to sustainability matters, instead of focusing merely on profits.
Protecting China’s plastic industry
As part of its mission, the China Synthetic Resin Supply & Sale Association said that it will also look into enhancing business relations and protecting its members – which include materials research institutes, suppliers, compounders, processors, trading companies and logistics providers.
“The competition in China’s resin market will intensify,” predicted Zheng, explaining that current talks for free trade zones – for example the China – South Korea – Japan free trade agreement – will result in an even more globalized market which could impact domestic resin suppliers as well as global suppliers with production facilities in China.
According to the association, China is the largest consumer of synthetic resins and the second largest producer after the US. China produced 48 million metric tons of resins in 2011 – a 14% increase over the previous year. The association estimates Chinese plastic resins consumption will hit 100 million tons by 2015, way over the estimated domestic production volume of 70 million tons.
“We will represent the (plastic) industry’s interests in various ways and help the government formulate policies and regulations including the synthetic resin industry’s 12th five-year plan,” Zheng added.
The China Synthetic Resin Supply & Sale Association will hold its first general assembly in June. It will also establish more than ten sub-committees to look into specific industry sectors such as polyolefin, ABS, compounding, etc.