Plastics|SA was privileged to host the 2018 Annual Assembly of the Council of International Plastics Association Directors (CIPAD), which took place in Cape Town from 7 to 9 November 2018.
As the name denotes, CIPAD represents all the directors of the International Plastics Associations, and aims to service and advocate the interests of the plastics industry worldwide through the sharing of information among international plastics associations.
‘Because it was the first time that a CIPAD Annual Assembly took place in South Africa, we wanted to ensure that the delegates and their spouses not only enjoyed the best our beautiful country has to offer, but they were also given ample opportunity to get to know and experience our dynamic, local plastics manufacturing and recycling industries first hand,’ explains Anton Hanekom, executive director of Plastics|SA.
Whilst the first day of the 2018 assembly was primarily dedicated to reports and updates from the various CIPAD member countries who were represented (Canada, China, England, Egypt, Germany, Italy, USA and South Africa), Plastics|SA created ample opportunities for the guests to interact with South African role players and leaders in the fields of raw material suppliers, government and legislation, retailers, recycling, manufacturing and sustainability.
‘It was very important for us to use this occasion to encourage foreign investment, increase cooperation and form even stronger cross-border partnerships with these valuable and influential global partners,’ Hanekom says. To this end, the second day of the assembly (sponsored by SASOL) focused on networking and learning from each other and saw international delegates, government, retailers and key players in the local plastics industry discuss issues ranging from the packaging challenges local retailers have to face, to the latest resources that are being developed internationally to help communicate the benefits of plastics to as wide an audience as possible.
The afternoon saw an industry conference attended by 50 invited guests during which Philip Law, executive director of the British Plastics Federation and Dr. Jürgen Brüder of Germany’s Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen (IK) provided updates on the World Plastics Council and Global Plastics Alliance and the important role plastics plays in a sustainable society. This was followed by a Sustainability Showcase during which Douw Steyn (Plastics|SA Sustainability Projects), Adri Spangenberg (Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) and Polystyrene Association of SA), Cheri Scholtz (Petco), Eddie van Os (Polyco) and Annabè Pretorius (SAPRO) briefly talked about some of the exciting projects that have been launched locally in order to improve the collection and recycling of plastics packaging.
The day’s discussions ended on a high note with a sunset cruise and dinner on-board a 76-foot luxury catamaran, courtesy of Dow Chemicals.
The last and final day of the CIPAD Assembly took guests on a study and fact finding tour through Cape Town (courtesy of Polyco), which included a visit to the Liesbeeck River in Athlone to view the successful retrieval of waste thanks to the installation of a litterboom, experiencing the positive impact the Packa-Ching Buy-Back facility is having on the Langa community, viewing the sorting of waste at the Kraaifontein Integrated Waste Management Facility and the recycling of waste into refuse bags at Tuffy Manufacturing.
Fortunately, it was not just all work for the CIPAD guests. After three days of hard work and meetings, they got to taste the best of South Africa’s food and wines with a visit to Spier Wine Estate, followed by a safari and traditional boma braai (complete with Zulu dancers) at the Aquila Private Game farm.
‘It was an inspired move by Plastics|SA to have a combined, broader meeting with local members of the plastics industry. It gave us all so many insights into the plastics industry in South Africa, especially waste management issues, and we enjoyed being able to interact with them socially. The choice of venues was superb and being at such unusually close quarters with the group of lions (at the Aquila Game Farm) will live long in the memory. Speaking for myself I think it was the best CIPAD meeting I have attended!’ says BPF’s Philip Law.
‘Our sincere thanks goes to SASOL, Dow and Polyco who had sponsored the event, as well as to all the participants and presenters who helped us make the CIPAD Assembly such a huge success. Our guests all agreed that they enjoyed the hospitality and splendour of our beautiful country, but that they had a lot to learn from us and that they were impressed by the various initiatives we have in place that are bearing impressive results,’ Hanekom concluded.