Global leaders gather to discuss PVC

by Tania Wannenburg

Global leaders came together to discuss anything and everything regarding PVC, with experts in the field sharing their knowledge.

As a member of the Global Vinyls Council (GVC), the Southern African Vinyl Association (SAVA) is able to form part of an international network of experts that encourage knowledge transfer and international cooperation.

This was very evident to those attended, and reported on, the Vinyls SA 2014 Conference which took place in October last year at the Hilton Hotel. The day was filled with a unique combination of inspired speakers who shared their wealth of knowledge with an extremely appreciative and accepting audience. Attendees actively took part in the discussions, turning to these industry professionals to not only gather information, but actually put it into practice in a simple yet efficient manner.
On the day, 11 international experts shared their expertise on various matters relating to PVC manufacturing, use and recycling with the South African community through the Vinyls SA conference, organised and hosted by SAVA.

“This is the first time that the Council has met on the African continent,” says Delanie Bezuidenhout, CEO of SAVA. “Not only were its members very excited to visit our beautiful country, but they were also keen to share ideas and create an opportunity for learning from each other’s best practices and experiences.”

More than 100 delegates attended the Vinyls SA 2014 conference and were treated to a full and varied programme of original papers with topics covering all aspects of PVC, ranging from formulation through to recovery and recycling. The opening address was delivered by Peter Willis, Senior Associate of the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainable Leadership. He emphasised the reasons why global society is placing increasingly stringent demands on a range of products, including PVC, and will continue to do so well into the future.

The second keynote speaker, Rishi Madho of SASOL, addressed the delegates with a paper entitled “The South African PVC Industry” in which he highlighted the growth, challenges and opportunities facing the local vinyl’s sector. The rest of the day’s presentations were divided into three sessions, during which local and international experts shared the stage and their expertise around central and pertinent topics:
Session 1
This involved a presentation and panel discussions by four Global Vinyls Council Members: Dr. Brigitte Dero (VinylsPlus – Europe), Sophi MacMillan (Vinyl Council of Australia), Shigetaka Seki (Vinyl Environmental Council – Japan) and Delanie Bezuidenhout (SAVA – South Africa). They discussed the role of the GFC and regional trends and challenges. This was followed with a presentation by Europe’s VinylsPlus to improve the sustainability of PVC, and Ole Grøndahl Hansen of Denmark who spoke about the developments and successes of the PVC Medical Alliance.

Session 2
Nigel Sarginson of ExxonMobil Europe, Dr. Martin Stimpson of Eastman Company in the UK and Carlos Casas and Luis F. Shilton (Varteco Quimica Puntana) expressed their views on global regulatory developments, PVC plasticisers and non-ortho-phthalates.

Session 3
Global trends, developments and innovations in the use of PVC pipes and building construction were discussed. Stuart Hope and Ian Sewell of Baerlocher and Dr. Arjen Sevenster of the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers also delivered presentations.

“Although we might be geographically far removed from the rest of the Global PVC roleplayers, it has become abundantly clear that we face the same issues and challenges,” concludes Delanie. “We have much to learn from each other, and it is only through the sharing of ideas that we will be able to continue developing the industry in order to meet the challenges of business, sustainability and innovation.”

For more information visit www.savinyls.co.za

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