Collaboration gives plastic packaging recycling Circular Economy boost

The plastics packaging value chain has been given added Circular Economy support, as a new collaboration aims to improve polyolefins-based packaging recycling rates.

On October 25th 2016, EuPC, PlasticsEurope and Plastics Recylers Europe (PRE) launched the new Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) through which the industry calls on all stakeholders to join them in driving towards the Circular Economy’s sustainability targets.

Plastics news europA ‘business as usual’ attitude will not help the industry reach its ambitious 55 per cent goal for plastic packaging preparing for reuse and recycling, the organisations stated in a joint media release. In order to achieve this target by the 2025 deadline outlined by the European Commission, fresh approaches are required.

The new platform will be working within the medium term (five-to-ten-years) based on effective, science-based solutions. The platform will create a multi-stakeholder group that will seek to identify the barriers and opportunities to increase Europe’s recycling and work towards ensuring the supply of high quality recycled plastics for the European market.

It is hoped this initiative will drive economic growth and the creation of new jobs as Europe moves towards a more circular economy. Europe’s plastics industry already comprises 62,000 companies providing more than 1.4 million jobs and annually contributing €26 billion (£23.3 billion) to public finances.

Innovation is key, and the whole sector has been tasked with developing packaging design according to the principals of the Circular Economy, applying fresh thinking to boosting the recyclability of flexible and rigid packaging, and applying uniform standards for sorting and testing plastics for recycling and certifying plastics that have been recycled.

The call for innovation extends into the end-use markets, while the sorting and recycling industry is being urged to improve mechanical recycling conversion technologies and to research converting nonmechanically recyclable plastics into feedstock for the production of new materials.