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

The problem of plastic waste and its impact on the surroundings wants to be urgently addressed. EU-funded study is on the lookout at ways of producing a additional sustainable plastic packaging daily life cycle to minimize the impact of plastic waste.


© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for around 40 % of the in general demand from customers for plastic in Europe. Despite the fact that perform is becoming finished to get better and recycle plastic waste, the EU however generates 25 million tonnes of it every single year, of which only thirty % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % finishes up in landfill.

Partners in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK job have established by themselves the task of producing a additional sustainable plastic packaging benefit chain by doing the job on various fronts to build new and additional sustainable items, processes and small business styles.

‘CIRC-PACK provides alongside one another associates from each and every stage of the plastic packaging cycle,’ says job manager Montserrat Lanero of Fundación CIRCE: Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energeticos in Spain. ‘Our purpose is to generate new relationships amongst the various associates that direct to enhancements in the full technique and lay the foundations of a new bio-primarily based benefit chain.’

New materials and superior recyclability

The job is exploring and building new feedstocks not primarily based on fossil fuels but on cleaner, additional eco-pleasant alternate options. This will empower the generation of new-generation bio-primarily based plastic packaging produced entirely of raw materials from renewable resources and recycled waste, such as trays, bottles, espresso capsules, jars, vehicle elements and pallets. These materials will also be biodegradable and compostable.

On top of that, associates are doing the job to minimize as significantly as feasible the waste created at each and every stage of the benefit chain, transforming it into new sources that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the ideas of a circular economic system.

CIRC-PACK’s goals – bettering recyclability, boosting biodegradability and supporting the generation of new bio-primarily based and compostable plastics – are centered on bettering right after-use plastic economic system by means of a multi-sectorial method, in three most important sectors: the automotive, generation and recycling of absorbent cleanliness items, and packaging film.

In addition, actions will boost existing sorting and recycling processes by means of an on the web monitoring technique, designed throughout the CIRC-PACK job. This will boost the restoration rates and top quality dependability of the recycled materials in line with the needs of the potential end-customers.

Business enterprise prospects

In the car sector, the job is doing the job closely with producers to boost the recycling level of plastic-primarily based factors of motor vehicles and boost processes to get better and reuse them.

The team is also doing the job with producers to valorise the cellulose waste from the recycling of absorbent cleanliness items, therefore producing bio-primarily based and biodegradable polymers from one thing that until eventually now has been considered to be purely waste.
New eco-style of packaging is also becoming carried out to minimize the end-of-daily life impact of multi-product and multilayer packaging, and to aid the separation of materials for recycling.

In addition, the process of amassing, classifying and recovering plastic waste will be re-evaluated in accordance to the new style to strengthen efficiency and enhance 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 benefit chain.

‘We anticipate CIRC-PACK to generate new small business prospects, for massive firms and SMEs, both of those in just the job and additional commonly. We want to alter the standpoint from looking at the solution on its possess to conceiving it as part of the generation, intake, disposal technique,’ says Lanero.

The in general objective is to promote transition to a circular economic system – a single that contributes to the EU’s waste administration and recycling targets by 2030.