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K 2022: Associations draw positive conclusions

The world's leading trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, K 2022, attracted 3,037 exhibitors and 176,000 visitors, according to the organizer.

This year, the trade fair focused on the topics of circular economy, climate protection and digitalization. Trade visitors from all over the world attended K 2022 in Düsseldorf. The proportion of international guests was over 70 percent, according to the trade show. People from 157 nations reportedly came to the NRW state capital. From Europe, visitors from the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, France, Belgium, Poland and Spain were said to have been represented alongside Germans. The fair registered numerous overseas guests from the USA, Brazil and India. The number of trade fair visitors from the East Asian region, on the other hand, had probably declined compared to the last K trade fair in 2019 as a result of more difficult conditions due to quarantine regulations. According to the organizers, the exhibiting companies were very satisfied with the number and even more so with the quality of the contacts. They reported a clear willingness to invest, with some spontaneous business deals already concluded during the trade fair period. Ingemar Bühler, general manager of PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V., the association of plastics producers, also sees the trade show as a success: "K 2022 was the perfect platform for us to accelerate the journey to a sustainable future with plastics. There was a great deal of international interest throughout the trade fair, enriching encounters and a spirit of optimism that could be felt. Added to this was the intensive dialog with politicians and the media, which helped to carry the messages and content of K beyond the exhibition halls. Once again, K showed that we provide the right answers to the crucial questions of our time."

Ulrich Reifenhäuser, Chairman of the Exhibitor Advisory Board of K 2022 and Chairman of the Board of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association in the VDMA, also drew a very positive balance: "After hardly any trade fairs were able to take place worldwide in the last three years, even at the national level, K 2022 as the world's leading trade fair was all the more eagerly awaited by the plastics and rubber industry and was able to provide new impetus in all areas of our industry. The many, in some cases unexpected, concrete contract negotiations held at the show speak for themselves!"
In the K 2022 industry interview with Thorsten Kühmann, managing director of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association in the VDMA, and Michael Ludden, chairman of the board of the VDMA Waste and Recycling Technology Association, on current developments, Reifenhäuser notes that recyclers and plastics processors are moving closer together as part of the transformation to a circular economy. At the trade show, he says, it was clearly evident that processors, who had previously mainly used virgin materials, were now increasingly concerned with recyclates and wanted to know what works with which systems and machines and what does not yet work. Since recyclates often have different properties than virgin material, the processors took the opportunity to inform themselves at the trade show in order to be able to close the loop. Reifenhäuser, who was also an exhibitor at K 2022 with his company Sutco Recyclingtechnik, does not see a problem in the use of recyclates in his process technology when asked by Kühmann. The problem was rather that there are hardly any recyclates and that one is dependent on input streams with consistent quality from correspondingly technically highly developed sorting plants in order to maintain high qualities. There are already good approaches to improving the sorting of plastic waste through digitalization, he said.


  • Pressrelease VDMA (Oct. 25, 2022)
  • Pressrelease Messe Düsseldorf (Oct. 26, 2022)
  • Pressrelease PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V. (Oct. 26, 2022)
  • Photo: © Messe Düsseldorf, C. Tillmann

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