Plasticity conference logoThis week, 50,000 leaders in government, business and the environment gather for the Rio+20 Earth Summit UN conference. What is new this year is a one-day creative break-out session focused entirely on the future of plastics — how to use bio-waste instead of oil to make them, and how to get more of it recycled.

Called, Plasticity Rio ’12, the forum will showcase pioneering efforts related to plastic, including new initiatives in design, packaging, recovery, and reuse.

Heavyweights from both the business and non-profit sectors organized the forum, including the Ocean Recovery Alliance, the United Nations Environment Program, Google, the Clinton Foundation, and Business for the Environment (B4E).

“With the world’s plastic production growing at over 8 percent per year the world’s waste management, and recycling infrastructure must keep up,” explains Doug Woodring, founder of the Ocean Recovery Alliance. “We believe that it’s vital to reassess where plastics come from, and where plastics go when we’re done with the them, and that’s why Plasticity Rio ’12 is a critical event coming at an important time.”

Plasticity launched a contest looking for the best new ideas for capturing PET plastics for re-use, and what to do with them once they are collected. Prizes for the top innovations will be awarded tomorrow during the all-day event.

Innovative companies in the bioplastics arena will also take the stage to showcase their progress. For instance, NatureWorks, which is owned by Cargill, a huge US private conglomerate and the largest chemical company in Thailand, will share its vision of the future from its ten years of experience manufacturing petroleum-free products like bottles, packaging, gift cards and iPhone cases, replacing oil in the process with a biopolymer made from plants called Ingeo. In the future, Ingeo will be made from cellulosic raw materials, agricultural wastes and non-food plants, enlarging its positive footprint on the environment.

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Related GNN story: Plastic Bio Bottle is Composted into Plant Food

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