Dutch recycling organisation appoints chairman duo

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Ben Kras (L) and Matthijs Veerman co-chairs, NRK Recycling

At its annual general meeting this year, NRK Recycling appointed not one, but two chairmen to fill the role previously held by Bernard Merckx.

According to the trade association, the scope of activities of the recycling organisation has greatly increased over the years, which led to the decision to split the office in two. The new co-chairs are Ben Kras of Kras Recycling and Matthijs Veerman of Morssinkhof Plastics. Gerd Gerdes of Daly Plastics was named vice chairman and is responsible for the communications portfolio.

The recycling sector has seen many changes over the past twelve months. The new chairs are being confronted with numerous themes that are decisive for the future of the sector. In the European Commission’s ‘European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy’ published this year, recycling is seen as central to achieving the transition to a circular economy. This will, however, require the recycling industry to adapt, expand and innovate in order to make this transition feasible.

Gerd Gerdes

A major issue is the Chinese ban on the import of plastics waste that went into effect at the start of 2018, and the newly implemented regulations on the import of waste and recyclate in various other Asian countries. The new rules have left the western world scrambling for solutions as to what to do with their ever-increasing mountains of plastic waste.

The situation today presents a challenge for the plastics recycling industry in the Netherlands and across Europe, but also offers a huge opportunity.

"It is time to join forces as an industry and, together with the government and producers, to provide more recycling capacity in Europe. We will have to achieve the recycling objectives together. Preferably within the European borders, but with an open mind towards other continents,” said vice chairman Gerd Gerdes.

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