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

Joseph B. Hash

The issue of plastic waste and its impression on the atmosphere requirements to be urgently addressed. EU-funded research is searching at approaches of building a a lot more sustainable plastic packaging lifestyle cycle to reduce the impression of plastic waste. © Saponia, 2017 Plastic packaging accounts for close to 40 […]

The issue of plastic waste and its impression on the atmosphere requirements to be urgently addressed. EU-funded research is searching at approaches of building a a lot more sustainable plastic packaging lifestyle cycle to reduce the impression of plastic waste.


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© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for close to 40 % of the in general demand for plastic in Europe. While perform is getting performed to get well and recycle plastic waste, the EU nevertheless provides 25 million tonnes of it every year, of which only 30 % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % ends up in landfill.

Companions in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK job have set by themselves the job of building a a lot more sustainable plastic packaging price chain by doing the job on various fronts to create new and a lot more sustainable merchandise, procedures and small business styles.

‘CIRC-PACK brings alongside one another companions from just about every step of the plastic packaging cycle,’ suggests job supervisor Montserrat Lanero of Fundación CIRCE: Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energeticos in Spain. ‘Our purpose is to develop new associations concerning the various companions that direct to improvements in the complete program and lay the foundations of a new bio-dependent price chain.’

New supplies and better recyclability

The job is discovering and creating new feedstocks not dependent on fossil fuels but on cleaner, a lot more eco-pleasant options. This will enable the production of new-technology bio-dependent plastic packaging produced solely of uncooked supplies from renewable sources and recycled waste, these kinds of as trays, bottles, espresso capsules, jars, vehicle areas and pallets. These supplies will also be biodegradable and compostable.

Also, companions are doing the job to reduce as a great deal as achievable the waste generated at just about every step of the price chain, transforming it into new methods that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the ideas of a circular economy.

CIRC-PACK’s objectives – improving upon recyclability, boosting biodegradability and supporting the production of new bio-dependent and compostable plastics – are focused on improving upon just after-use plastic economy by means of a multi-sectorial technique, in a few most important sectors: the automotive, production and recycling of absorbent hygiene merchandise, and packaging film.

In addition, steps will improve current sorting and recycling procedures by means of an on the internet monitoring program, designed in the course of the CIRC-PACK job. This will improve the recovery prices and good quality dependability of the recycled supplies in line with the requirements of the opportunity end-users.

Business enterprise chances

In the automobile sector, the job is doing the job intently with brands to improve the recycling rate of plastic-dependent parts of automobiles and improve procedures to get well and reuse them.

The workforce is also doing the job with producers to valorise the cellulose waste from the recycling of absorbent hygiene merchandise, thereby building bio-dependent and biodegradable polymers from some thing that until now has been viewed as to be purely waste.
New eco-design of packaging is also getting carried out to reduce the end-of-lifestyle impression of multi-materials and multilayer packaging, and to aid the separation of supplies for recycling.

In addition, the approach of accumulating, classifying and recovering plastic waste will be re-evaluated according to the new design to raise efficiency and increase the proportion of waste that is recycled. CIRC-PACK will analyse current authorized constraints, bottlenecks and other non-technological barriers that are hindering the optimisation of this price chain.

‘We hope CIRC-PACK to develop new small business chances, for significant providers and SMEs, both in the job and a lot more commonly. We want to alter the perspective from contemplating the product on its have to conceiving it as part of the production, consumption, disposal program,’ suggests Lanero.

The in general aim is to promote transition to a circular economy – 1 that contributes to the EU’s waste management and recycling targets by 2030.

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