September, 8, 2023 - From the 5th to the 8th of September, Plast 2023 was held in Milan (Italy). Five years after the last edition of the fair, in 2018, six pavilions at Fiera Milano, in Rho, were packed with more than 1,300 exhibitors from Italy and other European countries as well as other continents. The atmosphere was optimistic, with many exhibitors celebrating the return of the normally triennial event, which had been suspended in recent years due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
Mário Maggiani, Managing Director of Promaplast srl, organizer of PLAST 2023, gave an interview to BrazilianPlastics.com and talked on his impressions about the event and the prospects for the future.
Did Plast 2023 correspond to your expectations?
- Maggiani: Yes, totally. Both in terms of the number of exhibitors and visitors as well as regarding the total exhibition area, the results were very positive. We had new exhibitors and also companies that returned to the event after two or three editions away from the fair. Even though the exhibition was held separately (without the presence of four other "The Innovation Alliance" fair, as occurred in the last edition), the number of visitors to Plast 2023 was the same as the amount recorded in 2018. Of the more than 1,300 exhibitors at Plast 2023, 53 % were Italians and 47% from abroad. The exhibition area was the same as in 2018 (50,000 square meters).
Why was Plast 2023 held in September?
- Maggiani: The answer is quite simple: it was the only slot available in the Fiera Milano exhibition calendar as there was a complete reshuffling of dates for other fairs in recent years due to Covid, so that the majority of recent events took place in dates which were different from their original ones in order to avoid overlapping with the schedule of other exhibitions.
When will the next edition of Plast take place?
- Maggiani: In 2026, keeping our triennial periodicity but returning to the original late spring dates (May or/and June)
What are the technological and market trends perceived during Plast 2023?
- Maggiani: The main trend is related to environmental aspects: machines that optimize the amount of processed plastics, using less material, with lower energy consumption, a higher percentage of recycled plastic and also having capabilities to process compostable plastics. Furthermore, there is a strong emphasis on digitalization and a trend towards using Artificial Intelligence.
How does the Italian plastics processing machinery industry position itself in world markets today?
- Maggiani: Italian machines stand out for their high technological level and also for the possibility of customization, especially in the extrusion sector. German industry remains the main competitor on world markets. On the other hand, Chinese equipment has also been increasing its market share.
Promaplast was a pioneer in launching Green Plast fair in 2022 with emphasis on environmental and sustainability aspects linked to the production and use of plastics. Will there be a new edition?
- Maggiani: Yes, the second edition of Green Plast will take place in May 2025 along with the other "The Innovation Alliance" fairs. We are pleased with the results of 2022 edition and expect an increase in participation in 2025.