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Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) hosts successful “Innovation in PVC” Conference

The Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) proudly celebrated a historic milestone as it hosted its inaugural “Innovation in PVC” conference on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, at the distinguished Sasol’s Head Office in Sandton, Gauteng. The event garnered significant attention and participation from industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders representing diverse sectors within the PVC industry.

A Remarkable Gathering of Industry Visionaries

The “Innovation in PVC” conference provided an exceptional platform for PVC professionals to converge and engage in thought-provoking discussions, explore innovations, and address sustainability concerns within the PVC sector. Notable highlights of the event included the participation of industry luminaries who shared their insights and expertise:

  • David Mokomela, VP Base Chemicals at Sasol: Mr. Mokomela delivered the opening presentation, titled “Innovation within a South African chemicals construct.” In his address, he provided a comprehensive overview of the current state of the PVC industry in South Africa. His insights shed light on the industry’s growth, challenges, and opportunities.
  • Daniel Martinz, Business Development Manager: Specialty Vinyls at INEOS Inovyn: Mr. Martinz delivered an inspiring presentation that spotlighted the latest and most innovative PVC applications recognized at the recent Inovyn Awards held in Brussels in October last year. He emphasized that sustainability is driving innovation within the vinyls industry. “Initiatives such as renewable energies, decarbonization of processes, renewable feedstocks, and circularity are transforming the vinyls chain,” he stated. He also shared the encouraging news that demand and innovation in the PVC sector have never been higher, with a remarkable 48% of all PVC patents issued in the last decade.
  • Inna Jeschke, Business Unit Manager Polymers at INEOS Inovyn: Ms Jeschke introduced audience members to Biovyn – the world’s first commercially produced bio-sourced PVC using 100% renewable feedstock. With the launch of Biovyn in 2019, INEOS Inovyn became the world’s first commercial producer of bio-attributed PVC using a renewable supply chain fully certified by The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.

Diverse Topics Explored

Throughout the day, the conference covered a broad spectrum of topics, reflecting the dynamic nature of the PVC industry. Discussions ranged from global trends in stabilizer systems for PVC to breakthroughs in sustainable extrusion of rigid PVC. The exchange of ideas and knowledge further solidified the industry’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements.

Focus on PVC Recycling

In the second half of the conference, attention turned to the crucial topic of PVC recycling in South Africa. Local recyclers shared their success stories and innovative applications aimed at developing end markets for recycled PVC. These discussions underscored the growing importance of sustainability and circular economy principles in the PVC sector, aligning with global efforts to reduce environmental impact.

Celebrating Innovation and Sustainability

The “Innovation in PVC” conference culminated in a high note as SAVA recognized and rewarded excellence in the industry. A cash prize of R25,000 was awarded to Michelle Mokone, a director at Mo’s Crib, a South African-based eccentric home décor design company specializing in sustainable handmade décor items crafted from recycled PVC pipe. This acknowledgment highlighted the innovative and eco-conscious spirit that drives the PVC sector forward.

Exhibitors and sponsors add elements of excitement and fun

SAVA expresses its heartfelt thanks to sponsors Sasol, Alpha Plast, Continental Compounders, Elco Plastics, Isegen and Sun Ace SA for making the event possible. Thanks also goes to the exhibitors who helped to add excitement and donated prizes which were handed out during the lucky draw: Arengo Plastics, Drink Nil, Elco Plastics, E’yako Green, Isegen SA, Mpact Versapak, My Walk Made With Soul, Mo’s Crib, Omya Idwala, Plastics SA, Polyflor SA, Sappma, Sasol Polymers and Sheet Converters.

A Promising Future for PVC

Monique Holtzhausen, CEO of SAVA, expressed her delight at the conference’s success, saying, “The ‘Innovation in PVC’ conference has set a new standard for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation within the PVC industry. SAVA is proud to have provided a platform for industry leaders to come together, discuss pressing issues, and showcase the remarkable advancements in PVC technology.  With its emphasis on sustainability and innovation, the event has undoubtedly marked a watershed moment in the Southern African PVC industry and serves as a testament to the industry’s commitment to driving positive change, fostering innovation, and embracing a sustainable future. We look forward to future events that will continue to drive progress and excellence in the Southern African PVC industry.”

Visit the SAVA website for additional details and conference highlights:

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