Preliminary program announced for Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2020

Preliminary program announced for Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2020

February 18, 2020
Lloyd Fuller

Despite the fact that the second Plastic Free World Conference & Expo is still more than four months away from opening its doors, its organizer, Trans-Global Events, has published the preliminary conference agenda featuring more than 110 speakers and presentations

Following the success of the 2019 launch – which took place in Frankfurt last June – a few things became immediately apparent to CEO Mike Robinson. The reaction to the launch, and clamoring for a second instalment in combination with direct requests to speak, was unprecedented. Hence, we knew we were going to need a bigger home! As such, on 16-17 June 2020, the conference moves to the Cologne Messe, with a much larger and already sold-out exhibition area featuring 70 expert companies, which equates to an extraordinary 140% increase in organizations recognizing Plastic Free World Conference & Expo for the unique holistic platform that it has become while also acknowledging the diverse audience and industries that it attracts.

“The response to the 2019 conference was superb but we’re pinching ourselves at how well 2020’s event has gone so far,” enthused Robinson. “We sold out the expanded exhibition area five months in advance, we had more than 500 requests to speak – and we’re still being approached daily. But these are just two parts of the equation. The third, delegates, is also well ahead of schedule and on that note, I’m really pleased that registrations are already into their hundreds, which is quite astonishing considering the conference is still four months away!”

The conference program (click here) has expanded significantly this year, with another two tracks: ‘Bio-based Materials For Manufacturing Industries’ and ‘Closing The Loop’, which sit alongside 2019’s popular ‘Retail, Consumer Goods & Packaging’, ‘Food & Beverage’ and ‘Fashion & Textiles’ tracks. “What we discovered last year was that we attracted a much wider range of sectors than we expected, from toy manufacturing, sports, cosmetics and transportation to electronics, furniture, construction and aerospace – plastics usage, or responsible use of plastics, is clearly a big concern across the board,” reported conference director Seb Sbuttoni. “So, the new materials stream really caters for the wider manufacturing sector with materials innovations to reduce industry’s reliance on oil-based polymers. Innovations such as bioplastics, biocomposites and renewables can really help companies meet their overall sustainability objectives and environmental goals.”

Plastics have provided society with huge benefits, not least in applications such as food packaging, transportation and healthcare. The problem we face today is not so much the material but rather our relationship with it in a linear model of production, consumption and waste. “Clearly the current system is failing to capture the economic benefits of plastics,” Sbuttoni continued. “There are lots of experts who suggest we need to stop thinking of it as a waste but as a renewable resource that needs to be disposed of correctly. Our ‘Closing the Loop’ stream will therefore investigate those technologies, models and strategies that manufacturers and producers can call upon to cut unnecessary use and close the loop.”

With a total number of 130 speakers expected – details of 110 of which are online – Sbuttoni says it’s difficult to pick out any specific highlights. “There’s going to be a lot to see and hear,” he noted. “What we’re witnessing from the delegate registrations so far is that many companies are sending more than one person – in some cases three, four and five delegates (one company is even sending a team of 10) – so that they can cover the entire conference and because there is so much interest and cross-over. That was the only criticism I heard about the 2019 conference: people couldn’t be in more than once place at the same time!”

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2020 takes place at the Cologne Messe, Cologne, Germany, on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 June. Registrations are now open , so click here

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2020 will take place at Cologne Messe, Germany, on Tuesday 16 June and Wednesday 17 June. To register for this highly focused, solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email

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