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Economy

Cefic turns to the circular economy

by Alex Scott
June 28, 2019 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 97, ISSUE 26

 

By 2050 the recycling of finished products back into raw materials, known as the circular economy, will be standard practice, and today’s plastic waste issue will have been tackled, predicts a report on the future of the European chemical sector published by Cefic, Europe’s largest chemical industry association. The 60-page document features analysis and input gathered over the past 18 months from more than 300 experts. In the report, the association asserts that circular economy practices will be essential if the European industry is to remain prosperous. The industry will also have to respond to the global climate emergency. By 2050, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared with current levels. Focus on specialization and digitalization will increase profitability, although by 2050 the volume of chemical sales will be flat. While Cefic concludes that artificial intelligence and block-chain technologies will make chemical production safer, more efficient, and more transparent, the association also warns that applying these technologies will require a workforce with a different skill set.

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