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

The dilemma of plastic squander and its effect on the ecosystem wants to be urgently…

The dilemma of plastic squander and its effect on the ecosystem wants to be urgently dealt with. EU-funded study is wanting at ways of creating a more sustainable plastic packaging life cycle to minimize the effect of plastic squander.


© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for roughly forty % of the over-all need for plastic in Europe. Whilst perform is being accomplished to get well and recycle plastic squander, the EU even now makes 25 million tonnes of it each yr, of which only 30 % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % ends up in landfill.

Associates in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK venture have established on their own the process of creating a more sustainable plastic packaging benefit chain by functioning on several fronts to develop new and more sustainable merchandise, processes and organization models.

‘CIRC-PACK provides alongside one another associates from every action of the plastic packaging cycle,’ states venture supervisor Montserrat Lanero of Fundación CIRCE: Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energeticos in Spain. ‘Our intention is to build new relationships between the unique associates that direct to improvements in the entire technique and lay the foundations of a new bio-based mostly benefit chain.’

New materials and better recyclability

The venture is discovering and establishing new feedstocks not based mostly on fossil fuels but on cleaner, more eco-helpful options. This will enable the manufacturing of new-era bio-based mostly plastic packaging designed fully of raw materials from renewable sources and recycled squander, these as trays, bottles, coffee capsules, jars, auto parts and pallets. These materials will also be biodegradable and compostable.

Moreover, associates are functioning to minimize as significantly as attainable the squander produced at every action of the benefit chain, transforming it into new sources that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the concepts of a round economic system.

CIRC-PACK’s targets – bettering recyclability, boosting biodegradability and supporting the manufacturing of new bio-based mostly and compostable plastics – are targeted on bettering right after-use plastic economic system via a multi-sectorial method, in three major sectors: the automotive, manufacturing and recycling of absorbent hygiene merchandise, and packaging movie.

In addition, actions will strengthen existing sorting and recycling processes via an on the web monitoring technique, developed for the duration of the CIRC-PACK venture. This will strengthen the recovery charges and top quality trustworthiness of the recycled materials in line with the needs of the potential conclusion-buyers.

Business options

In the automobile sector, the venture is functioning intently with manufacturers to strengthen the recycling level of plastic-based mostly elements of cars and strengthen processes to get well and reuse them.

The workforce is also functioning with producers to valorise the cellulose squander from the recycling of absorbent hygiene merchandise, thereby creating bio-based mostly and biodegradable polymers from something that until eventually now has been viewed as to be purely squander.
New eco-layout of packaging is also being executed to minimize the conclusion-of-life effect of multi-substance and multilayer packaging, and to aid the separation of materials for recycling.

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

‘We anticipate CIRC-PACK to build new organization options, for substantial organizations and SMEs, both of those in just the venture and more commonly. We want to change the standpoint from considering the solution on its own to conceiving it as element of the manufacturing, consumption, disposal technique,’ states Lanero.

The over-all objective is to promote transition to a round economic system – one that contributes to the EU’s squander management and recycling targets by 2030.