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

Gordon B. Johnson

The problem of plastic waste and its effects on the environment wants to be urgently resolved. EU-funded exploration is searching at approaches of building a far more sustainable plastic packaging existence cycle to lower the effects of plastic waste. © Saponia, 2017 Plastic packaging accounts for approximately forty % of […]

The problem of plastic waste and its effects on the environment wants to be urgently resolved. EU-funded exploration is searching at approaches of building a far more sustainable plastic packaging existence cycle to lower the effects of plastic waste.


© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for approximately forty % of the total demand from customers for plastic in Europe. While perform is remaining carried out to get well and recycle plastic waste, the EU nevertheless makes twenty five million tonnes of it every single year, of which only 30 % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % ends up in landfill.

Associates in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK job have established by themselves the job of building a far more sustainable plastic packaging worth chain by doing the job on quite a few fronts to develop new and far more sustainable solutions, procedures and business designs.

‘CIRC-PACK provides together associates from every single action of the plastic packaging cycle,’ says job supervisor Montserrat Lanero of Fundación CIRCE: Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energeticos in Spain. ‘Our aim is to make new relationships in between the diverse associates that direct to enhancements in the full system and lay the foundations of a new bio-dependent worth chain.’

New materials and greater recyclability

The job is exploring and building new feedstocks not dependent on fossil fuels but on cleaner, far more eco-pleasant alternatives. This will allow the generation of new-technology bio-dependent plastic packaging created solely of uncooked materials from renewable sources and recycled waste, this kind of as trays, bottles, espresso capsules, jars, car or truck components and pallets. These materials will also be biodegradable and compostable.

On top of that, associates are doing the job to lower as considerably as attainable the waste generated at every single action of the worth chain, reworking it into new assets that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the principles of a circular economic system.

CIRC-PACK’s plans – enhancing recyclability, enhancing biodegradability and supporting the generation of new bio-dependent and compostable plastics – are concentrated on enhancing right after-use plastic economic system by means of a multi-sectorial solution, in a few primary sectors: the automotive, generation and recycling of absorbent cleanliness solutions, and packaging movie.

In addition, actions will make improvements to existing sorting and recycling procedures by means of an on line checking system, designed for the duration of the CIRC-PACK job. This will make improvements to the restoration costs and excellent dependability of the recycled materials in line with the needs of the opportunity conclude-people.

Business prospects

In the car sector, the job is doing the job carefully with brands to make improvements to the recycling amount of plastic-dependent components of motor vehicles and make improvements to procedures to get well and reuse them.

The staff is also doing the job with producers to valorise the cellulose waste from the recycling of absorbent cleanliness solutions, therefore building bio-dependent and biodegradable polymers from a thing that till now has been viewed as to be purely waste.
New eco-style and design of packaging is also remaining carried out to lower the conclude-of-existence effects of multi-content and multilayer packaging, and to aid the separation of materials for recycling.

In addition, the course of action of accumulating, classifying and recovering plastic waste will be re-evaluated in accordance to the new style and design to increase efficiency and raise the proportion of waste that is recycled. CIRC-PACK will analyse existing legal constraints, bottlenecks and other non-technological barriers that are hindering the optimisation of this worth chain.

‘We be expecting CIRC-PACK to make new business prospects, for large corporations and SMEs, each inside the job and far more commonly. We want to change the standpoint from looking at the item on its have to conceiving it as aspect of the generation, consumption, disposal system,’ says Lanero.

The total goal is to market changeover to a circular economic system – just one that contributes to the EU’s waste management and recycling targets by 2030.

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