Sustainability in Plastics Processing

Dates: To be verified.

Duration: 1 Day

Location: 7 Centre Court, Blyry Business and Commercial Park, Athlone, Co. Westmeath N37 RT29

Accreditation: Certificate of Attendance

Full Fee: €195.00 (inclusive of course materials, lunch and refreshments)

Course code: SPP

Programme overview

There are many books, articles, reports and publications on sustainability and its importance in the modern world. Some are general, some are specific to the use (or abuse) of plastics, some are supportive of the plastics processing industry but most demonise plastics. Despite all this information, there is still a lack of practical information for the plastics processor who wants to improve the sustainability of their business. This course is designed to provide a framework for the essential actions to be carried out by plastics processors to improve their sustainability performance and credentials.

Learning outcomes

The course aims to give a better understanding of best practice in relation to sustainability and focuses on the practical cost, energy and time saving actions that can be undertaken by those in the plastics processing industry.

Who is the course for

This course is suitable for professionals at any level with an interest in improving the way that energy is managed within their manufacturing facility and reducing overhead costs.


  1. Sustainability Basics – general introduction to sustainability and the models used to evaluate sustainability.
  2. Management Systems – review of the main management systems used in the sustainability.
  3. Design – review of the importance of design in sustainability and how good design choices can improve the sustainability of products.
  4. Raw Materials – a guide to reducing materials content and use and the primary methods and issues of recycling (also covering bio-based and biodegradable materials).
  5. Manufacturing – the major actions to improve sustainability in manufacturing. This will cover quality, process control, sustainable procurement and sustainable distribution.
  6. Energy Management – a very short review of the methods to assess energy use in plastics processing (FPT provides a follow on course in this area Controlling Energy Use in Plastics Processing).
  7. Carbon Footprinting – what a carbon footprint covers and how a carbon footprint is calculated.
  8. Water Management – water use in plastics processing and a programme to reduce water use and costs.
  9. Waste Minimisation – how to quantify and minimise the waste of materials and services with a focus on packaging and oil/hydraulic fluid.
  10. Use and End-of-Life – a framework for considering how plastics products are used and disposed of and how the life cycle of products influences their utility value.
  11. Social Sustainability – sustainability is not just about products but also about social sustainability, many companies do excellent work in this area but do not know how to report and quantify it.
  12. Reporting Sustainability – a review of the major reporting frameworks that can be used by companies to prove that they are actually improving their sustainability performance.

Trainer Profile

Dr Robin Kent has been involved with plastics processing since 1971 in a variety of sectors ranging from extrusion to injection moulding. He has wide experience in product design, having worked as Technical Director for several of the major plastics processing and window systems companies in UK and Europe. Since 1995 he has specialised in energy management for industry and as an independent consultant, he has carried out energy surveys and assessments on over 500 companies throughout the world. Dr Kent has a B.Eng. (Hons.) in Materials Engineering from Monash University (Australia) and a Ph.D. in Polymer Physics from the University of Surrey (UK).


His publications include over 500 technical and management articles and papers on plastics and windows and 10 books on plastics processing. He regularly lectures on cost and energy management in plastics processing and materials technology throughout the world. He has chaired 5 committees setting standards for the UK plastics and window industry and is a regular judge for major plastics industry awards.


Dr Kent is a Fellow of the Energy Institute, a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Energy Manager. Dr Kent is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Horners and Freeman of the City of London. He is a past Chairman of the Plastics Consultancy Network – the foremost grouping of plastics consultants in the world.
Dr Kent was awarded the Plastics Industry Awards 2010 ‘Personal Contribution’ award for his work as ‘a champion of energy efficiency and for helping numerous processors to make savings through better energy use’.

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