Too many microplastics in our oceans, too little recycling of waste from private households: IFAT 2018 has opened in Munich. At the world's leading trade fair for environmental technology, current challenges facing the wastewater, waste and recycling industry will be discussed, and innovative solutions presented.
Stefan Rummel, Managing Director Messe München: "All over the world we’re seeing environmental issues becoming ever more important - in politics, business and society. We’re facing big challenges, there’s the issue of microplastics in the oceans, we have severe precipitation events, floods, and they’re all issues we have to deal with. We need to provide people with clean drinking water, and we need to ensure sanitation, as well as raw material cycles and recycling, worldwide. "
The German Environment Ministry is also calling not only for wastewater treatment technologies but also optimization of the recycling process. Higher quality criteria are currently needed in Germany, especially because of the ban on waste imports to China.
Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety: "We just need to make sure that recyclates – that is, what we derive from recyclable plastic – really do get used in Germany. There’s pressure from outside now, because the Chinese market is closed. Now the recyclates have to be used here, too."
The industry is also focusing increasingly on new technologies - for improving the recycling of packaging waste, for example, and keeping the very smallest particles from entering water.
Naemi Denz, Managing Director Waste Treatment and Recycling Technology VDMA: "Right now there’s a lot of political pressure where microplastics in the oceans are concerned. This will lead to technical innovations in the field, with a focus on at least two key issues – firstly, preventing plastics from entering the oceans, which we’ll achieve via sensible collection systems and good treatment, and secondly, filtering out the microplastics that are in the water today. And a lot of technologies for doing that can also be seen at IFAT."
IFAT 2018 is the platform for breaking new ground in the waste, wastewater and recycling industries.
Stefan Rummel, Managing Director Messe München: "This year we have a record IFAT: this time we have 3,300 exhibitors across an area of 260,000m², the rough equivalent of 36 football pitches. We have two new halls, C5 and C6. The focus is on the entire water industry here, as well as on the topics of recycling and raw material cycles."