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

The problem of plastic squander and its effects on the surroundings desires to be urgently tackled. EU-funded study is searching at approaches of building a much more sustainable plastic packaging lifestyle cycle to lower the effects of plastic squander.


© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for approximately forty % of the overall demand for plastic in Europe. Whilst perform is staying finished to recover and recycle plastic squander, the EU still creates 25 million tonnes of it each individual 12 months, of which only 30 % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % finishes up in landfill.

Companions in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK venture have established themselves the endeavor of building a much more sustainable plastic packaging price chain by performing on numerous fronts to build new and much more sustainable products, procedures and enterprise models.

‘CIRC-PACK provides together companions from each and every action of the plastic packaging cycle,’ claims venture manager Montserrat Lanero of Fundación CIRCE: Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energeticos in Spain. ‘Our purpose is to generate new associations among the different companions that guide to improvements in the total technique and lay the foundations of a new bio-primarily based price chain.’

New components and much better recyclability

The venture is exploring and establishing new feedstocks not primarily based on fossil fuels but on cleaner, much more eco-welcoming choices. This will empower the manufacturing of new-generation bio-primarily based plastic packaging built solely of uncooked components from renewable resources and recycled squander, these types of as trays, bottles, espresso capsules, jars, auto elements and pallets. These components will also be biodegradable and compostable.

On top of that, companions are performing to lower as substantially as doable the squander created at each and every action of the price chain, reworking it into new sources that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the concepts of a round overall economy.

CIRC-PACK’s aims – bettering recyclability, improving biodegradability and supporting the manufacturing of new bio-primarily based and compostable plastics – are centered on bettering soon after-use plastic overall economy via a multi-sectorial method, in 3 major sectors: the automotive, manufacturing and recycling of absorbent hygiene products, and packaging movie.

In addition, steps will increase existing sorting and recycling procedures via an on the web monitoring technique, made during the CIRC-PACK venture. This will increase the restoration premiums and good quality trustworthiness of the recycled components in line with the necessities of the prospective close-users.

Small business alternatives

In the automobile sector, the venture is performing closely with suppliers to increase the recycling charge of plastic-primarily based factors of cars and increase procedures to recover and reuse them.

The staff is also performing with producers to valorise the cellulose squander from the recycling of absorbent hygiene products, thereby building bio-primarily based and biodegradable polymers from a little something that right up until now has been thought of to be purely squander.
New eco-layout of packaging is also staying carried out to lower the close-of-lifestyle effects of multi-material and multilayer packaging, and to facilitate the separation of components for recycling.

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

‘We be expecting CIRC-PACK to generate new enterprise alternatives, for significant providers and SMEs, each inside of the venture and much more greatly. We want to adjust the viewpoint from looking at the products on its very own to conceiving it as element of the manufacturing, consumption, disposal technique,’ claims Lanero.

The overall objective is to promote transition to a round overall economy – one that contributes to the EU’s squander administration and recycling targets by 2030.