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

The problem of plastic squander and its effect on the surroundings needs to be urgently…

The problem of plastic squander and its effect on the surroundings needs to be urgently dealt with. EU-funded exploration is looking at strategies of making a a lot more sustainable plastic packaging existence cycle to decrease the effect of plastic squander.


© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for around forty % of the all round demand for plastic in Europe. Whilst perform is getting accomplished to get well and recycle plastic squander, the EU nevertheless generates twenty five million tonnes of it just about every yr, of which only thirty % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % ends up in landfill.

Associates in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK task have set themselves the endeavor of making a a lot more sustainable plastic packaging benefit chain by functioning on numerous fronts to build new and a lot more sustainable goods, procedures and enterprise styles.

‘CIRC-PACK delivers jointly associates from every single stage of the plastic packaging cycle,’ states task supervisor Montserrat Lanero of Fundación CIRCE: Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energeticos in Spain. ‘Our intention is to build new relationships in between the distinctive associates that direct to advancements in the whole process and lay the foundations of a new bio-primarily based benefit chain.’

New supplies and greater recyclability

The task is discovering and producing new feedstocks not primarily based on fossil fuels but on cleaner, a lot more eco-pleasant possibilities. This will enable the output of new-technology bio-primarily based plastic packaging designed entirely of uncooked supplies from renewable sources and recycled squander, such as trays, bottles, coffee capsules, jars, auto elements and pallets. These supplies will also be biodegradable and compostable.

On top of that, associates are functioning to decrease as significantly as probable the squander generated at every single stage of the benefit chain, reworking it into new resources that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the rules of a circular economy.

CIRC-PACK’s targets – enhancing recyclability, enhancing biodegradability and supporting the output of new bio-primarily based and compostable plastics – are focused on enhancing soon after-use plastic economy through a multi-sectorial tactic, in 3 key sectors: the automotive, output and recycling of absorbent cleanliness goods, and packaging movie.

In addition, actions will improve present sorting and recycling procedures through an on the web monitoring process, developed through the CIRC-PACK task. This will improve the restoration premiums and good quality dependability of the recycled supplies in line with the requirements of the probable finish-people.

Company possibilities

In the vehicle sector, the task is functioning closely with makers to improve the recycling level of plastic-primarily based parts of motor vehicles and improve procedures to get well and reuse them.

The staff is also functioning with producers to valorise the cellulose squander from the recycling of absorbent cleanliness goods, therefore making bio-primarily based and biodegradable polymers from one thing that till now has been regarded to be purely squander.
New eco-design of packaging is also getting applied to decrease the finish-of-existence effect of multi-substance and multilayer packaging, and to aid the separation of supplies for recycling.

In addition, the course of action of accumulating, classifying and recovering plastic squander will be re-evaluated in accordance to the new design to boost effectiveness and improve the proportion of squander that is recycled. CIRC-PACK will analyse present lawful constraints, bottlenecks and other non-technological obstacles that are hindering the optimisation of this benefit chain.

‘We assume CIRC-PACK to build new enterprise possibilities, for substantial corporations and SMEs, the two in just the task and a lot more widely. We want to improve the point of view from considering the merchandise on its have to conceiving it as part of the output, usage, disposal process,’ states Lanero.

The all round aim is to boost changeover to a circular economy – one that contributes to the EU’s squander administration and recycling targets by 2030.