11th GPCA Plastics Conference to be held in Saudi for the 1st time

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Saudi Arabia
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The 11th Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Plastics Conference will be held in Saudi Arabia for the first time from the 25th to 26th of May, attracting top industry experts to explore the future of plastics in the Arabian Gulf region and beyond.

The conference will take place at the Fairmont Hotel in Riyadh under the theme ‘Plastics Reimagined: A Circular Future Awaits’ and provide a platform to exchange ground-breaking ideas to transform the plastics industry and bring the circular economy to the Arabian Gulf.

A new GPCA report entitled ‘The Plastic Conversion Opportunity in the GCC: Moulding a Sustainable Future’, reveals that regional plastic production capacity reached 28.2 million tons in 2020, growing by 3.6 percent CAGR since 2010, higher than the global average for the same period.

The report examines Saudi Arabia’s status as the largest polymer producer in the region, and home to the most diverse product portfolio in the whole of the GCC, accounting for 68 percent of total output in the Arabian Gulf. According to the report, in 2019 the Kingdom was producing about 30 value-adding products, the highest in the region.

Saudi Arabia established the Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC) as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) in 2017 to support the Kingdom’s efforts to develop a circular economy and address plastic recycling.

Another key development is the adoption of the first recycled plastic standard, GSO 2545.2021, by the Gulf Standardization Organization aimed at advancing circular economy efforts across the plastic manufacturing industry.

Abdulwahab Al Sadoun
Abdulwahab Al Sadoun
Secretary General

“The issue of plastics circularity continues to be top of mind for industry leaders, legislators and society with scores of new green initiatives being announced in the region in 2021. Designing plastics with sustainability in mind has been a prime vision for petrochemical producers and the GPCA Plastics Conference will provide a much sought-after platform for GPCA members and petrochemical players to come together, exchange experiences and learn and strategize the future of the industry with value chain partners from across the region and the world.”

Plastics have come under increased scrutiny for their environmental profile and the way in which they are disposed of. New government regulations and increasingly sophisticated customer demands are creating both a challenge and an opportunity for Arabian Gulf petrochemical players to carve out a new future for plastics or risk staying behind.

Related: Saudi’s FII Institute to host ‘ESG Summit for Emerging Markets’ in London