To begin the conference, Steve Duckworth, President of MedPharmPlast Europe (MPPE) welcomed all participants and gave a short update about the associations activities in 2019 and an outlook for 2020. Mr. Duckworth took this opportunity to welcome the associations newest member, Trineso, who joined in 2019 and announced the joining of Wittenburg in 2020. Including Trineso and Wittenburg, MPPE now has 21 members across Europe.
A brief update from the president preceded an intense day of expertise-sharing, opened by Peter Simpson (ECHA), who offered an extremely thorough portrayal of the state of play of the REACH Microplastics Restriction. The morning session continued with an update on the noteworthy 2019 activities of the Medical Device Coordination Working Groups, by Pascale Van Hoydonck (Terumo), who stressed the fundamentality of their participation within the context of the development of the new Medical Device Regulation. Subsequently, Nigel Talboys (Terumo & MPPE) informed all members and conference attendees about the MedPharmPlast Europe’s Regulatory Taskforce Activities in 2019 and plans for 2020. He apprised the members about the unmissable opportunity to take part in the activity of the MedPharmPlast Europe’s Regulatory Taskforce, emphasizing that their participation through the manifestation of their concerns could represent a further boost to the 2020 action plan of the group.
The afternoon session was opened by Timo Unger’s (Hyundai Motor Group) presentation, which revolved around the Waste Framework Directive, with a specific focus on the Substances of Concern in Articles to the ECHA's SCIP database. The insights provided stunned the audience, as most were unaware of its reporting implications. Mr. Unger’s expertise, deriving from his twenty years of involvement with with the application of (IMDS) data collection systems for automotive, allowed him to show the actual challenge for the industry.
The President returned to the podium and gave an overview of the challenges of sustainability in healthcare plastics, underlying that, notwithstanding the circular economy and the resource efficiency have been on the agenda for years, recycling for medical devices has often been considered a no-go due to fear of contamination. Therefore, the MPPE group will continue to find itself coping with obstacles strictly related to the specific sector and that cannot be circumvented in this era of sustainability.
The last regulatory contribution was provided by Patrick De Kort (MPPE), who updated the members about the status of the TiO2 classification within the context of the CLP Regulation and stressed the importance of the role that a leading trade association in the sector like MPPE can play in the justification of the continued use of this critical substance.
“This was one of the best MedPharmPlast conferences, I really feel that we got to the heart of the regulatory issues”, observed Beatrice Grand Demars (Nemera), undoubtedly acting as spokesman for the entire audience, thoroughly impressed by the exhaustiveness of the updates provided during the event.
The conference communicated the many regulatory challenges; for example MDR & REACH restriction proposal on microplastics. MedPharmPlast Europe will closely monitor the developments and support the policy makers with its expertise.
At the end of the conference, Mr. Duckworth thanked the participants for joining and announced that the next MPPE event will take place on 16-17 June 2020 in Hamburg; the success of the winter conference is emblematic of the impressive work that MPPE is carrying out and will be the reason why an even more extensive audience is expected to join for the summer event.