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

Elvera Bartels

The issue of plastic waste and its influence on the surroundings needs to be urgently resolved. EU-funded investigation is wanting at ways of building a much more sustainable plastic packaging lifestyle cycle to decrease the influence of plastic waste.


© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for somewhere around forty % of the all round demand for plastic in Europe. Despite the fact that operate is currently being carried out to get well and recycle plastic waste, the EU however makes 25 million tonnes of it every single yr, of which only thirty % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % ends up in landfill.

Partners in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK job have set on their own the endeavor of building a much more sustainable plastic packaging worth chain by functioning on various fronts to develop new and much more sustainable items, processes and enterprise versions.

‘CIRC-PACK delivers collectively associates from just about every phase of the plastic packaging cycle,’ claims job manager Montserrat Lanero of Fundación CIRCE: Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energeticos in Spain. ‘Our purpose is to develop new interactions between the distinctive associates that guide to advancements in the complete program and lay the foundations of a new bio-based worth chain.’

New products and much better recyclability

The job is checking out and producing new feedstocks not based on fossil fuels but on cleaner, much more eco-welcoming choices. This will help the production of new-technology bio-based plastic packaging created entirely of uncooked products from renewable sources and recycled waste, these as trays, bottles, coffee capsules, jars, automobile components and pallets. These products will also be biodegradable and compostable.

In addition, associates are functioning to decrease as much as achievable the waste produced at just about every phase of the worth chain, reworking it into new means that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the ideas of a circular economy.

CIRC-PACK’s plans – bettering recyclability, maximizing biodegradability and supporting the production of new bio-based and compostable plastics – are centered on bettering after-use plastic economy through a multi-sectorial approach, in 3 most important sectors: the automotive, production and recycling of absorbent cleanliness items, and packaging movie.

In addition, actions will make improvements to existing sorting and recycling processes through an on the web checking program, formulated all through the CIRC-PACK job. This will make improvements to the restoration prices and high quality trustworthiness of the recycled products in line with the prerequisites of the likely finish-end users.

Business enterprise prospects

In the vehicle sector, the job is functioning intently with producers to make improvements to the recycling charge of plastic-based parts of motor vehicles and make improvements to processes to get well and reuse them.

The staff is also functioning with producers to valorise the cellulose waste from the recycling of absorbent cleanliness items, thus building bio-based and biodegradable polymers from a thing that until finally now has been regarded as to be purely waste.
New eco-design and style of packaging is also currently being carried out to decrease the finish-of-lifestyle influence of multi-product and multilayer packaging, and to aid the separation of products for recycling.

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

‘We expect CIRC-PACK to develop new enterprise prospects, for big providers and SMEs, both of those within just the job and much more extensively. We want to improve the viewpoint from thinking about the item on its individual to conceiving it as portion of the production, intake, disposal program,’ claims Lanero.

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

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