Romain Cazenave, Dow's Packaging marketing director for the EMEA region

The packaging unit will become more of a key market for Dow next year once the proposed split between the chemical giant and DuPont is completed, says the company’s marketing director for the EMEA region.

Speaking at a Load Stability Academy in Valencia, Spain organised by Dow and hosted by ITENE at its packaging research centre, Romain Cazenave, who is based at Dow’s Horgen, Switzerland facility, explained that the company will become a standalone materials science business early in 2019.

The two chemical firms merged in 2017, but will now split into three separate businesses: “This means we will now be even more focused on packaging, which makes it even more of a key market for the company. The world economic polyethylene outlook looks set to grow around 4 per cent each year, with global demand currently at 100m tonnes annually. So there is massive potential there,” he said.

However, he pointed out that despite the company’s increased focus, it truly believes that plastics should only be used when it offers the lowest environmental impact and none of it should end up in the environment.

“We have a four pillar approach to sustainability: preserve food and goods, reduce packaging material, enhance recyclability and pursue alternative feedstock. Plastics waste does not belong in our environment. But no other material can match its benefits and until the waste issue is resolved, no rational conversation will be allowed, it seems to be purely emotional at the moment.”