The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) held a webinar entitled “Waste Management Innovations: Promoting Circularity and Preventing Plastic Waste Leakage.” It was participated in by experts and specialists from SABIC, Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC), the Center for Energy Studies at Baker Institute for Public Policy, and the Consumer and Environmental Affairs in the European Union, in order to exchange discussion and dialogue on ways to benefit from plastic waste. The number of participants in the workshop reached more than 100.
Dr. Fahad Alturki, the Vice President of Research at KAPSARC, confirmed that this webinar is the second in a series of workshops that discuss innovation in managing and reusing plastic as a reusable material. He stated that these workshops aim to convince private sector institutions and think tanks around the world to help us understand how to prevent the pollution of plastic products that are increasingly used in our world today.
Alturki pointed out that the exchange of global expertise helps the Kingdom to translate policies into actions in order to be a model in the region and the world in managing waste and preventing its environmental damage.
At the end of the webinar, Alturki announced that the Center is currently working on developing an index for the Circular Carbon Economy (CCE), in addition to participating in a special project to address climate change.
For her part, Dr. Anne Collot, the Senior Manager of Consumer and Environmental Affairs in the European Union, stated that the European Union’s vision is to reuse 100% of plastics by 2040 and 60% by 2030.
Moreover, Dr. Rachel Meidl, from the Center for Energy Studies at Baker Institute for Public Policy, mentioned that the world needs to develop effective and sustainable policies to prevent plastic waste. Meanwhile, Mark Vester, SABIC’s Global Leader of Circular Economy, emphasized the importance of enacting regulations and innovations to develop the management of reusing and recycling petrochemicals.
On the other hand, the CEO of SIRC revealed that Saudi Arabia is committed to converting 85% of hazardous industrial waste, 100% of solid waste, and 60% of construction and demolition waste.
He indicated that SIRC is working on achieving the Saudi Green Initiative to divert from landfills by 94% through working with partners to invest in the CCE. The investment in waste will create about 23,000 direct jobs, raise the gross domestic product (GDP) to more than 37 billion SR, and increase quality of life.
The speakers highlighted the issue of plastic waste from a global perspective, focusing on the most prominent areas in which it is concentrated, and how the importance of plastics for health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic can be balanced with preventing their environmental pollution.
It is noteworthy that KAPSARC’s workshops represent a link for the exchange of expertise on the most prominent updates and challenges in the issues of energy and environmental economics among academics, decision-makers and stakeholders, and contribute to developing appropriate solutions and discovering potential opportunities to reach a sustainable and prosperous economy.
This article originally appeared on Saudi Gazette