The industry advocates sustainability at the Expoquimia, Equiplast and Eurosurfas trade fairs

The chemical, plastic and surface treatment industries have proved to be essential during the pandemic, and they now face the major challenge of becoming so again in their contribution to the circular economy and technological and sustainable development. The leading companies in these industries will therefore submit their latest proposals, solutions and new products at Expoquimia, Equiplast and Eurosurfas, exhibitions that will feature around 300 exhibitors representing more than 500 brands at an in-person event adapted to the current situation in terms of its volume and size.

The fairs organised by Fira Barcelona comprise the flagship event for these sectors in Spain and they will constitute one of the first industrial meeting points to be organised in Europe following the outbreak of the pandemic. They will be held from 14 to 17 September in Hall 3 of the Gran Via venue with the aims of accelerating initiatives committed to the environment and promoting professional contacts and the business of these industries.

Thus, with 300 brands on show, the 19th Expoquimia, the International Chemistry Fair, will bring together a significant representation of the Spanish chemical sector, one of the most dynamic parts of the Spanish economy, with the participation of companies and entities such as AEQT, Air Liquide, BASF, Biesterfeld, Bondalti, Carburos Metálicos, Cepsa, ChemMed Tarragona, Codols, Covestro, CSIC, Ercros, Genebre, Grupo IQE, Grupo Lleal, JP Selecta, Inovyn, Panreac AppliChem, Novamont, Quimacova, Quimidroga, Sahivo, Staubli, Solutex and Telstar.

Similarly, under the auspices of the FEIQUE (Business Federation of the Spanish Chemical Industry), which organises, together with the fair, the innovation space known as Smart Chemistry, Smart Future, the contribution of the sector to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be displayed, with products and initiatives such as biodegradable and compostable bioplastics, chemical recycling technologies, CO2 capture and green hydrogen production, as well as the first PVC produced from biomass and biorefineries to convert waste into high-value products, among other innovations.

In the same vein, the fair will award a prominent role to new materials, critical raw materials and green chemistry with the Mat 20-30 space, where solutions for a more sustainable and safe kind of chemistry will be on show, while the sector will be offered an area to promote mutual cooperation by means of a partnership programme.

Expoquimia President Carles Navarro indicated that “the pandemic has demonstrated that the chemical sector is essential” and added that “it will be fundamental for guaranteeing the development of key technologies to face the objectives of decarbonisation and the circular economy”. Similarly, Navarro declared that “chemistry is essential when it comes to addressing the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfilling them by 2030”.

A recycling plant to scale
With more than 200 brands, the 19th Equiplast, the International Plastic and Rubber Fair, will showcase the solutions developed by the sector to benefit the circular economy. In this respect, for the first time it will recreate Reciplast, a recycling plant built to scale, to demonstrate how reliable plastic recovery systems currently exist. It will also feature Rethinking Plastics, a unique exhibition of products made with fully recycled plastic from renewable and biodegradable sources.

In addition, the 27th Eurosurfas, the International Surface Treatment fair, set to feature around 50 brands, will present the latest breakthroughs, particularly in the field of functional surfaces, which allow the addition of properties such as antioxidants and water repellents to the final finishes of all kinds of products.

Equiplast President Bernd Roegele believes that “recycling and the circular economy are demonstrating the potential and the path to sustainability of a material such as plastic, one which is highly important in basic sectors for society such as health, industry and technology”.

As for Eurosurfas President Giampiero Cortinovis, he stated that “the sector is committed to innovation in order to be less polluting and, at the same time, more competitive and efficient in a difficult period that’s witnessing the concentration of companies within the industry”.

Business opportunities and guided tours
Alongside the exhibitions, the three events, which will be partnered by the Tecnalia and Leitat technological centres as strategic associates, will facilitate the development of new business opportunities for the exhibitors by means of an international VIP Buyers programme to promote the physical and online participation of potential buyers from several countries in Europe, Latin America and North Africa.

In addition, the Acció Agency of the Catalan Government and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism will contribute to the organisation of the Innovation & Tech Transfer area for explaining European and national projects and making presentations, while there will also be a marketplace with the participation of universities and technological centres to bring science into contact with the industrial fabric.

Similarly, with the aim of improving the experience of the professional visitors, the fairs will provide the option of learning more about the exhibitors’ innovations by means of guided and personalised tours based on their sectoral interests and common thematic axes, including the circular economy, technology transfer and digital transformation.

The three exhibitions will feature several training courses, interactive areas, sectoral talks and presentations by leading experts. Another Eurosurfas Eurocar congress, the Expoquimia R&D&I awards and Equiplast-Shaping the Future will complement this year’s events.

The largest applied chemistry event in the Mediterranean
The joint holding of these three events organised by Fira Barcelona, together with Digital X.0 Experience, an area devoted to Industry 4.0 promoted by Industry From Needs to Solutions, and a seminar on zoonosis and its consequences on Healthio Research Day, organised by Healthio, Fira’s health-related event, will shape the largest applied chemistry fair in the Mediterranean and the first major trade show since the start of the pandemic.

In order to guarantee the safety of the workers, suppliers and exhibitors and the visitors to these fairs, the prevention and safety protocol to combat COVID-19 drawn up by Fira Barcelona following the advice of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona will be applied.