Speaker Interview

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About the Fire Resistance in Plastics 
Virtual Summit 

Ahead of the Fire Resistance in Plastics Virtual Summit we are gathering a series of insights from our expert speakers. In this latest interview, we spoke to Kevin Bradley, Secretary General of BSEF.

Kevin will be presenting his paper titled 'Flame retardants and WEEE in the circular economy – A perspective'.

23 - 25 February 2021

Please tell us about your current role. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?

Kevin: I am currently Secretary General of BSEF, the International Bromine Council. Our role is to support and promote the role of bromine and bromine technologies as enablers for society and economy globally. 

What are the current challenges you face in the industry?

Kevin: On the general level, as with all parts of the global chemical industry, we are challenged with meeting society’s needs and desires while at the same time ensuring the chemicals and formulations we use are safe for the environment and human health. On the specific level with respect to brominated flame retardant technologies (BFRs), the challenge is to demonstrate that management of legacy BFRs, such as PBDEs, in end of life products is effectively managed to support a more Circular Economy.

How do you see the flame-retardant industry developing in the next year and beyond?

Kevin: The flame retardant market remains robust and these chemicals are important solutions for long standing needs in automotive, electronics and the built environment.  Equally important is the emerging market flame retardant applications for 5G and EVs which will bring societal and economic benefits but also require fire safety needs.  Brominated solutions aren’t going away and will remain important as they provide the greatest design flexibility, supply certainty and cost performance for many applications.

Non-halogenated alone is no longer sufficient to demonstrate sustainability when looking at alternatives. Raw material sourcing, and Circular Economy aspects are now becoming more important. Today sustainable chemistry needs to be crafted along new dimensions and not surprisingly brominated flame retardants are often the more circular / sustainable choice. Indeed, the recently published study by consultants SOFIES mentioned above, demonstrates that the real challenges for the electrical and electronics value chain is improving the recycling of plastics with additives such as flame retardants and addressing the multiplicity of polymer types used.

You will be speaking at the Fire Resistance in Plastics Virtual Summit, could you give us a little preview on what you will be talking about?

Kevin: I am going to provide an insight into the SOFIES study outcomes and what they mean for FR industry and polymer producers in the context of the growing importance of the circular economy as a concept and driver for sustainability of FRs and polymers in products.

What impact has COVID-19 had on the industry? How has it affected your company?

Kevin: As BSEF, COVID-19 has meant suspended travel, no physical events and no interaction (physical) with our members and stakeholders. On the plus side, we have reorganised ourselves online and successfully delivered five online events and webinars in the second half of 2020. We hope to see a return to normal soon, but in the meantime, we will continue with this approach.

The 2020 edition of our long standing Fire Resistance in Plastics event will now take place as a Virtual Summit on 23 - 25 February 2021. Three days of online knowledge sharing and discussion that will bring together stakeholders from across the FR industry. 

This event provides opportunities to learn from the experience of key players from all areas of the FR industry and to network with the whole FR community - all from the safety of your own home or office.

Head to our event webpage to book your place today!

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Kevin Bradley,
Secretary General, 

Fire Resistance in Plastics Virtual Summit
AKevin Bradley, BSEF