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

The dilemma of plastic waste and its impact on the natural environment desires to be urgently resolved. EU-funded investigation is on the lookout at strategies of making a additional sustainable plastic packaging everyday living cycle to decrease the impact of plastic waste.


© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for roughly forty % of the in general demand for plastic in Europe. Although perform is currently being carried out to get well and recycle plastic waste, the EU even now makes twenty five million tonnes of it every single 12 months, of which only 30 % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % ends up in landfill.

Companions in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK project have established them selves the process of making a additional sustainable plastic packaging benefit chain by functioning on quite a few fronts to produce new and additional sustainable merchandise, procedures and business versions.

‘CIRC-PACK provides collectively companions from each individual move of the plastic packaging cycle,’ says project supervisor Montserrat Lanero of Fundación CIRCE: Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energeticos in Spain. ‘Our purpose is to create new relationships between the distinct companions that lead to advancements in the total program and lay the foundations of a new bio-primarily based benefit chain.’

New resources and improved recyclability

The project is exploring and building new feedstocks not primarily based on fossil fuels but on cleaner, additional eco-pleasant alternate options. This will permit the output of new-technology bio-primarily based plastic packaging built totally of uncooked resources from renewable sources and recycled waste, this sort of as trays, bottles, espresso capsules, jars, vehicle pieces and pallets. These resources will also be biodegradable and compostable.

Moreover, companions are functioning to decrease as significantly as doable the waste generated at each individual move of the benefit chain, transforming it into new methods that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the ideas of a circular economic climate.

CIRC-PACK’s targets – increasing recyclability, boosting biodegradability and supporting the output of new bio-primarily based and compostable plastics – are concentrated on increasing following-use plastic economic climate via a multi-sectorial solution, in three primary sectors: the automotive, output and recycling of absorbent cleanliness merchandise, and packaging film.

In addition, actions will enhance present sorting and recycling procedures via an on the net monitoring program, produced in the course of the CIRC-PACK project. This will enhance the restoration charges and high quality dependability of the recycled resources in line with the needs of the possible stop-users.

Enterprise possibilities

In the vehicle sector, the project is functioning closely with makers to enhance the recycling charge of plastic-primarily based elements of motor vehicles and enhance procedures to get well and reuse them.

The crew is also functioning with producers to valorise the cellulose waste from the recycling of absorbent cleanliness merchandise, thus making bio-primarily based and biodegradable polymers from a little something that right until now has been thought of to be purely waste.
New eco-design of packaging is also currently being applied to decrease the stop-of-everyday living impact of multi-materials and multilayer packaging, and to facilitate the separation of resources for recycling.

In addition, the procedure of accumulating, classifying and recovering plastic waste will be re-evaluated according to the new design to increase performance and raise the proportion of waste that is recycled. CIRC-PACK will analyse present lawful constraints, bottlenecks and other non-technological boundaries that are hindering the optimisation of this benefit chain.

‘We hope CIRC-PACK to create new business possibilities, for substantial firms and SMEs, both equally in just the project and additional commonly. We want to change the standpoint from contemplating the product on its individual to conceiving it as portion of the output, intake, disposal program,’ says Lanero.

The in general goal is to market changeover to a circular economic climate – a single that contributes to the EU’s waste management and recycling targets by 2030.