BOM: The world's leading trade fair for the plastics industry ended last Wednesday. According to the final report, 176,000 guests visited the fair, a record in the current period. You were one of the visitors. What impressions did you take away with you? How did you feel about the atmosphere?
HP Schlegelmilch: I took away different impressions. For the most part, the visitors and exhibitors were very happy to meet in person again. Here and there, however, it also came to light that travel restrictions are the result of the Corona regulations and the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Potential visitors from China and Russia were therefore very rare this time.
BOM: Despite the energy crisis and stormy economic times: Are companies still taking their social responsibility seriously, is sustainability still an issue in the plastics and rubber industry?
HP Schlegelmilch: The term "sustainability" is almost worn out. One of the reasons for this is that sustainability is arbitrarily vague. The two core themes of this trade show were 1. circular material management, 2. digital transformation in business models. And above them the message "Together"!
HP Schlegelmilch: I am convinced that the trade show message "Together" must be taken very seriously by us as grassroots players. This message, it has to be said honestly, at the moment still contains more hope, dream, claim or request than as a state of reality! As a digital infrastructure platform, we provide the foundation on which material manufacturers, service providers and OEMs and brands can work together and do so efficiently and not as in the past. Only in this way can the industry's promise to politics and society to achieve a circular trowel closure, closed loop, so to speak, succeed at all.
BOM: Thank you very much, HP Schlegelmilch, for the interview and your assessments. We wish the organizers, exhibitors and visitors every success under difficult conditions!.
The interview was conducted by Gertrud Müller.