Closing the circle on plastic waste – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

Lavern Vogel

The issue of plastic squander and its impact on the setting wants to be urgently addressed. EU-funded study is on the lookout at means of producing a more sustainable plastic packaging lifestyle cycle to lower the impact of plastic squander. © Saponia, 2017 Plastic packaging accounts for close to 40 […]

The issue of plastic squander and its impact on the setting wants to be urgently addressed. EU-funded study is on the lookout at means of producing a more sustainable plastic packaging lifestyle cycle to lower the impact of plastic squander.


© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for close to 40 % of the total demand from customers for plastic in Europe. Although get the job done is remaining carried out to recuperate and recycle plastic squander, the EU nonetheless generates 25 million tonnes of it just about every year, of which only 30 % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % finishes up in landfill.

Companions in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK venture have set them selves the task of producing a more sustainable plastic packaging benefit chain by doing work on various fronts to build new and more sustainable goods, procedures and enterprise types.

‘CIRC-PACK provides together companions from each individual move of the plastic packaging cycle,’ claims venture supervisor Montserrat Lanero of Fundación CIRCE: Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energeticos in Spain. ‘Our goal is to develop new interactions in between the various companions that guide to advancements in the total program and lay the foundations of a new bio-dependent benefit chain.’

New supplies and superior recyclability

The venture is checking out and establishing new feedstocks not dependent on fossil fuels but on cleaner, more eco-pleasant choices. This will permit the output of new-technology bio-dependent plastic packaging created fully of raw supplies from renewable sources and recycled squander, this sort of as trays, bottles, coffee capsules, jars, automobile sections and pallets. These supplies will also be biodegradable and compostable.

Furthermore, companions are doing work to lower as much as feasible the squander produced at each individual move of the benefit chain, transforming it into new methods that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the principles of a circular financial system.

CIRC-PACK’s targets – bettering recyclability, maximizing biodegradability and supporting the output of new bio-dependent and compostable plastics – are focused on bettering soon after-use plastic financial system via a multi-sectorial method, in 3 principal sectors: the automotive, output and recycling of absorbent hygiene goods, and packaging movie.

In addition, steps will enhance existing sorting and recycling procedures via an online checking program, developed through the CIRC-PACK venture. This will enhance the restoration premiums and excellent dependability of the recycled supplies in line with the prerequisites of the potential conclude-users.

Small business possibilities

In the automobile sector, the venture is doing work intently with makers to enhance the recycling fee of plastic-dependent factors of cars and enhance procedures to recuperate and reuse them.

The crew is also doing work with producers to valorise the cellulose squander from the recycling of absorbent hygiene goods, thus producing bio-dependent and biodegradable polymers from something that right up until now has been regarded to be purely squander.
New eco-layout of packaging is also remaining implemented to lower the conclude-of-lifestyle impact of multi-content and multilayer packaging, and to facilitate the separation of supplies for recycling.

In addition, the approach of gathering, classifying and recovering plastic squander will be re-evaluated according to the new layout to increase effectiveness and enhance the proportion of squander that is recycled. CIRC-PACK will analyse existing legal constraints, bottlenecks and other non-technological limitations that are hindering the optimisation of this benefit chain.

‘We be expecting CIRC-PACK to develop new enterprise possibilities, for massive providers and SMEs, both equally within the venture and more widely. We want to change the standpoint from thinking of the product or service on its own to conceiving it as element of the output, intake, disposal program,’ claims Lanero.

The total objective is to advertise changeover to a circular financial system – one that contributes to the EU’s squander administration and recycling targets by 2030.

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