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

The challenge of plastic squander and its affect on the surroundings requirements to be urgently

The challenge of plastic squander and its affect on the surroundings requirements to be urgently addressed. EU-funded research is hunting at means of building a additional sustainable plastic packaging existence cycle to minimize the affect of plastic squander.


© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for approximately 40 % of the general desire for plastic in Europe. Even though get the job done is currently being done to recuperate and recycle plastic squander, the EU even now produces twenty five million tonnes of it each individual 12 months, of which only thirty % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % ends up in landfill.

Partners in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK venture have established by themselves the undertaking of building a additional sustainable plastic packaging value chain by doing the job on a number of fronts to develop new and additional sustainable merchandise, processes and business enterprise types.

‘CIRC-PACK brings jointly partners 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 goal is to generate new relationships between the diverse partners that direct to advancements in the full program and lay the foundations of a new bio-dependent value chain.’

New products and superior recyclability

The venture is exploring and producing new feedstocks not dependent on fossil fuels but on cleaner, additional eco-helpful possibilities. This will help the production of new-technology bio-dependent plastic packaging created fully of raw products from renewable sources and recycled squander, these as trays, bottles, coffee capsules, jars, motor vehicle pieces and pallets. These products will also be biodegradable and compostable.

Furthermore, partners are doing the job to minimize as much as attainable the squander generated at each and every action of the value chain, reworking it into new methods that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the principles of a circular financial system.

CIRC-PACK’s aims – enhancing recyclability, improving biodegradability and supporting the production of new bio-dependent and compostable plastics – are targeted on enhancing after-use plastic financial system via a multi-sectorial solution, in a few principal sectors: the automotive, production and recycling of absorbent hygiene merchandise, and packaging movie.

In addition, steps will increase current sorting and recycling processes via an on the net monitoring program, produced for the duration of the CIRC-PACK venture. This will increase the restoration rates and good quality trustworthiness of the recycled products in line with the specifications of the potential conclusion-people.

Company opportunities

In the automobile sector, the venture is doing the job closely with producers to increase the recycling amount of plastic-dependent elements of autos and increase processes to recuperate and reuse them.

The group is also doing the job with producers to valorise the cellulose squander from the recycling of absorbent hygiene merchandise, thereby building bio-dependent and biodegradable polymers from something that until now has been viewed as to be purely squander.
New eco-layout of packaging is also currently being implemented to minimize the conclusion-of-existence affect of multi-product and multilayer packaging, and to facilitate the separation of products for recycling.

In addition, the approach of accumulating, classifying and recovering plastic squander will be re-evaluated according to the new layout to increase performance and maximize the proportion of squander that is recycled. CIRC-PACK will analyse current lawful constraints, bottlenecks and other non-technological barriers that are hindering the optimisation of this value chain.

‘We count on CIRC-PACK to generate new business enterprise opportunities, for big firms and SMEs, the two within the venture and additional widely. We want to alter the standpoint from contemplating the merchandise on its own to conceiving it as element of the production, intake, disposal program,’ claims Lanero.

The general aim is to endorse transition to a circular financial system – one that contributes to the EU’s squander administration and recycling targets by 2030.