A world without waste – building bridges between Europe and Asia
Report from the Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business 2022
Dr. Axel Schweitzer, Chairman and Shareholder of Interzero and ALBA Group Asia, attended the Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business in Singapore. These are his thoughts, which can also be read on LinkedIn.
Day 1 – November 14, 2022
“While the global society is discussing further climate protection at the World Climate Summit in Sharm el-Skeikh, we have taken and confirmed further concrete steps at the Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business in Singapore. To improve plastics recycling in Asia we committed today, that ALBA Group Asia will invest over 50 million USD within the next 5 years. Based on our longstanding work on establishing sustainable waste management and treatment systems in Asia, we strongly support the negotiations that are currently underway for a legally binding UN International Plastics Convention to end plastic pollution of the environment and oceans. We believe we can do our part to bring them to life.
For this purpose, I signed for the ALBA Group Asia a letter of intent with Desmond TAN, COO Wah & Hua Pte Ltd. Singapore, to establish concrete projects to:
- Create a PET circular value chain in Indonesia (TRIDI), Thailand, and Vietnam by building or supporting state-of-the-art recycling facilities to produce food-grade quality r-PET.
- Introduce smart digital collection systems to upgrade the existing waste management industry thus enabling traceability and certifications, and working together with the informal sector, educating, and empowering them thus creating added value for society and the community.
- Develop systems to recover plastics for chemical recycling to develop circular solutions for low-quality and low-value plastics
As Deputy Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business, I am honored that we had the chance to sign our letter of intent in the presence of Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Action Dr Habeck at this Conference, which aims to build and strengthen personal and economic ties between Europe and Asia.”
Day 2 – November 14, 2022
“The second day of the Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business included not only a keynote by Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Lawrence Wong, but also a panel with Federal Minister Dr Habeck. For me as Deputy Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business it started with a panel discussion on sustainability, together with Dieter Janecek from the Green Party, Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Commerce, Pakistan and Hasminah Paudac-Tawano, Litigation, Development & Environmental Lawyer. In the Oxford style debate led by Nicholas Farrelly we talked about the following thesis: "Binding and high-standard sustainability provisions must be part and parcel of International Economic Exchange".
Together with minister Qamar, I had to oppose the motion although I am of course not against setting clear framework conditions to develop climate and resource protection. However, the debate also made it clear to me that we cannot impose the regulations on anyone in the emerging countries of the world. We already have problems in Europe with too many and wrong regulations. And we should certainly avoid regulations that hinder sustainable developments from within the countries. Personally, I see a large part of the solution to this dilemma in the development and entrepreneurial spirit of many people who are returning to traditional, proven methods of resource conservation, combined with the use of new smart and digital technologies for waste management and recycling but above all in the networking of players locally and globally. That is why I am active with Interzero in Europe and at the same time with ALBA Group Asia - to build bridges for a world without waste."
About ALBA Group Asia:
ALBA has more than 20 years of experience in Asia and over 50 years in the Recycling industry. ALBA Group Asia represents has its headquarters in Hong Kong, SAR and operating facilities in China, Indonesia, and Singapore. The company is globally renowned for top-quality recycling and waste management solutions. Further information can be found at www.alba.com.
- Company & industry
Interzero is one of the leading service providers in the field of closing product, material and logistics loops as well as innovation leader in plastics recycling with the largest sorting capacity in Europe. Under the guiding principle of “zero waste solutions”, the company supports over 50,000 customers throughout Europe on the responsible handling of recyclable materials, thus helping them to improve their own sustainability balance and conserve primary resources. With about 2,000 employees, the company achieves a turnover of over one billion euros (2021). According to Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Interzero’s recycling activities will save one million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and more than 12.5 million tonnes of primary raw materials in 2021 alone. Further information can be found at www.interzero.com.
The online magazine on recycling and the circular economy