Press releases

Speakers at the GPCA Symposium in Riyadh focused on collaboration as the key driver in enabling the transition towards a circular economy and ending the plastic waste crisis


Value chain collaboration will be the catalyst for circular plastics solutions, said experts at the inaugural Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Symposium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia today, emphasizing on the role of society, brand owners, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), retailers, waste and recycling companies, technology providers, policy-makers, regulators and converters to work alongside the plastic industry towards addressing the plastic waste challenge.

Held under the theme “Delivering our Plastics Circularity Ambitions”, the symposium concluded on the sidelines of the 16th Annual GPCA Forum after facilitating two days of knowledge sharing and strategic dialogues with influential decision-makers across the regional and global plastics value chain. The symposium showcased the efforts of the plastics industry in enabling a more sustainable and circular future.

On Day 1, 7 December, delegates heard from Naser Aldousari, President & CEO, EQUATE Group and Chairman, Plastics Committee, GPCA, who delivered the opening remarks. Stewart Harris, Senior Director, Plastics Division, ACC and Member of Management Committee, World Plastics Council (WPC), provided the latest updates on plastic policy issues at multilateral organizations, including UNEA 5.2 International Negotiating Committee (INC) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s proposal to classify plastic pellets as dangerous goods, as well as the industry’s efforts to advocate its position on both cases.

Abdullah Al-Otaibi, General Manager, ETP & Market Solutions, SABIC; Muayad Al-Faresi; Global Business Director – PET, EQUATE Petrochemical Company; and Anton Wolfsberger, Vice President, Global Marketing, Packaging & Circular Economy, Borouge, shared success stories from their respective organizations that are driving business model transformation towards circularity.

On the second day of the symposium, 8 December, delegates received insights into the latest trends, related to plastics recycling markets from Egor Dementev, Senior Analyst, Plastics Recycling, ICIS. This was followed by a presentation from Sara Jackson, Executive Director, Green Ethics FZ LLC, to showcase the value-chain collaboration projects, including at GPCA, to drive circular economy policy and regulatory developments in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Udit Arora, Head of Committees Affairs & Economic Research (A), GPCA also presented the progress being made under the Operation Clean Sweep® initiative to achieve zero pellet, flake and powder loss across the plastics value chain.

Jacob Duer, President & CEO, Alliance to End Plastic Waste presented on what is needed to put an end to plastic waste leakage in the environment and why this requires a collaborative effort. Duer was followed on stage by Nicholas Kolesch, Vice President Projects, Alliance to End Plastic Waste, who discussed the opportunities to address plastic waste in the Arabian Gulf region.

The symposium concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Hani Tohme, Senior Partner, Head of Sustainability MENA, Roland Berger; Sara Jackson was joined on the panel by Bob Maughon, EVP, Sustainability, Technology & Innovation and Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer, SABIC; Marwan Frem, President, Napco National; and Jacob Duer, President & CEO, Alliance to End Plastic Waste.

Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented: “We are pleased to have gathered global and regional experts from across the plastics value chain at the inaugural GPCA Symposium this year for a unique exchange of success stories, latest trends, challenges, and solutions to the global plastic waste challenge. As industry experts highlighted in their conversations over the last two days, the role of collaboration will be essential in ensuring that the transition to a plastic circular economy is accelerated and enabled with the right environment and long-term solutions. The industry is going through turbulent times and requires all players to remain proactive. At GPCA, we are committed to provide ongoing support and facilitate positive change.”

To learn more about the GPCA Symposium, visit: