Press releases

Now in its 12th year, the leading polymer industry conference will take place in Saudi Arabia’s industrial hub Al Khobar on 14-15 May 2023


Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 19 April 2023 – The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association Plastics Conference, the leading gathering for polymer industry professionals in the region and globally, will return for another landmark edition to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 14-15 May 2023 to welcome hundreds of industry experts to Al Khobar for two days of immersive knowledge sharing, networking and best practices exchange.

Despite it being recognized as a crucial issue, currently only 5-7% of plastics are recycled due to the diversity and variability of plastics waste, contamination, gaps in the existing infrastructure, and new demands of advanced recycling, while about 90% is sent to landfill and a small amount is exported. An effective strategic response must be designed to address these issues and prevent over USD 120 billion from being lost through plastic waste annually. Establishing a recycling industry in the region can help support job creation, with estimates suggesting a 10,000 tpa mechanical recycling plant can create between 27-32 direct jobs and many more jobs throughout the value chain.

Now in its 12th edition, the conference will be held under the theme ‘Investing in New Value Creation: A Sustainable Transformation’ to address some of the most pertinent questions facing the polymer value chain in the Arabian Gulf region and beyond. How can the plastic industry redefine itself in a time of heightened scrutiny and growing market disruption? How is ESG transforming the conversion industry? What is the role of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in promoting sustainable materials and waste management? And many more.

Setting the scene on day one, Khalid Sultan Al-Kuwari, CEO, Q-Chem and Vice-Chairman, Plastics Committee, GPCA, will deliver the welcome address at the conference. His speech will be followed by a keynote session from Eng. Khalil Ibnsalamah, CEO, National Industrial Development Center, titled ‘Sustainability at the center of strategy – How the plastic industry is redefining itself’. A strategic panel featuring Harith Al-Qurtas, Chief Advisor, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, Saudi Arabia; Martyn Tickner, Chief Advisor, Circular Solutions, Alliance to End Plastic Waste; and Maryam Al Mansoori, GM, Rebound Plastics Exchange, will discuss the holistic approach needed to build global plastic governance. Day 1 will continue with more strategic panel discussions, relevant case studies from the region and timely presentations from the industry’s most prominent experts.

Delegates will return for day two’s jam-packed conference program to hear from Nadia Al Hajji, CEO, PIC and Vice-Chairman, Plastics Committee, GPCA, who will deliver the opening remarks, as well as some of the industry’s leading authorities about the macroeconomic trends and their impact on the plastics industry, followed by a panel on how the region can support the development of an automotive industry in the GCC, featuring Dr. Fahd Aldohish, President and CEO, SNAM Automobiles Industries Co., and Dr. Raed Al Zubi, GM, Juffali Chemical Group. Discussing the integral role of plastics in infrastructure will be Abdulrahman Al-Awwad, Pipe Technology Sr. Manager, SABIC; Dr. Adel Badghaish, President, National Oilwell Varco; and Dr. Suleyman Deveci, Manager, Infrastructure Centre of Excellence, Borouge, on the second panel of the day, as the conference concludes with insights on the role of plastic value parks in accelerating investment and innovation.


Other leading speakers at the conference include:

  • Surendra Patawari, Founder & CEO, Gemini
  • Yousuf Abdulla Rebeeh, Chief Engineering Officer, QAPCO
  • Antonello Ciotti, President, PETCORE Europe and Business Director EAMAEI, Dow P&SP recycling
  • Gerald Rebitzer, Director Sustainability, Amcor Flexibles
  • Maher Maktabi, Senior Public Affairs Manager, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Michael Ahlgrimm, Technical Director, Coperion
  • Oliver Borek, Chief Commercial Officer, Mura Technology
  • Ronald Richa, GM Plastic Recycling, Repeet, Veolia Middle East
  • Saumitra Saxena, Research Scientist, Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC), KAUST
  • Ahmed Al Zahrani, VP, Business & Services, Sadara Chemical Company


Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented: “Addressing the issue of plastic waste and circularity will require an enormous effort, collaboration and investment. We would need a systems-level change to transform the global plastic economy as well as commonly proposed approaches for good global plastics governance. With the plastic value chain being one of the most complex, knowledge sharing, education, innovation and collaboration are at the heart of creating a step change in our approach to plastic waste.

“This is why we are especially pleased to be hosting the 12th GPCA Plastics Conference in Saudi Arabia to equip you with the information you need to understand the global plastics system, provide a technical overview of plastics and plastic markets, and explore common concepts and emerging trends. With over 1,300 factories and investment exceeding USD 9.3 billion, the plastic industry is at the forefront of the Kingdom’s development strategy, making this an important place to be when strategizing for the future of the sector today and tomorrow,” he concluded.

The conference will host the CIRCUL-A-THON challenge launched by SABIC and Plug and Play earlier this year to engage with creative and visionary designers in the quest to find solutions facing the future of circularity. The challenge focuses on industrial designs for real-life products having ease of reuse and recyclability of plastics throughout their life cycles, and it’s an honor for GPCA to be facilitating this important collaboration at this timely industry gathering next month.

To secure your place at the 12th GPCA Plastics Conference, please visit: