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

The challenge of plastic squander and its effects on the natural environment wants to be

The challenge of plastic squander and its effects on the natural environment wants to be urgently resolved. EU-funded study is hunting at strategies of building a additional sustainable plastic packaging life cycle to decrease the effects of plastic squander.


© Saponia, 2017

Plastic packaging accounts for approximately forty % of the total need for plastic in Europe. Although function is remaining accomplished to get better and recycle plastic squander, the EU even now generates twenty five million tonnes of it just about every year, of which only thirty % is recycled, 39 % is incinerated and 31 % finishes up in landfill.

Companions in the EU-funded CIRC-PACK project have set by themselves the job of building a additional sustainable plastic packaging benefit chain by working on various fronts to produce new and additional sustainable solutions, procedures and small business products.

‘CIRC-PACK brings jointly partners from each 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 aim is to develop new associations concerning the various partners that lead to enhancements in the complete method and lay the foundations of a new bio-primarily based benefit chain.’

New supplies and superior recyclability

The project is discovering and building new feedstocks not primarily based on fossil fuels but on cleaner, additional eco-welcoming choices. This will empower the generation of new-era bio-primarily based plastic packaging produced totally of raw supplies from renewable sources and recycled squander, this kind of as trays, bottles, coffee capsules, jars, automobile elements and pallets. These supplies will also be biodegradable and compostable.

Moreover, partners are working to decrease as significantly as attainable the squander produced at each move of the benefit chain, transforming it into new assets that could be reintroduced into the cycle in line with the ideas of a circular economic system.

CIRC-PACK’s ambitions – increasing recyclability, enhancing biodegradability and supporting the generation of new bio-primarily based and compostable plastics – are focused on increasing just after-use plastic economic system by a multi-sectorial technique, in 3 primary sectors: the automotive, generation and recycling of absorbent cleanliness solutions, and packaging film.

In addition, actions will improve current sorting and recycling procedures by an online monitoring method, made in the course of the CIRC-PACK project. This will improve the restoration prices and top quality trustworthiness of the recycled supplies in line with the prerequisites of the prospective end-end users.

Organization opportunities

In the car sector, the project is working closely with brands to improve the recycling amount of plastic-primarily based elements of motor vehicles and improve procedures to get better and reuse them.

The crew is also working with producers to valorise the cellulose squander from the recycling of absorbent cleanliness solutions, thereby building bio-primarily based and biodegradable polymers from anything that right until now has been regarded as to be purely squander.
New eco-design and style of packaging is also remaining applied to decrease the end-of-life effects of multi-substance and multilayer packaging, and to facilitate the separation of supplies for recycling.

In addition, the course of action of amassing, classifying and recovering plastic squander will be re-evaluated according to the new design and style to enhance performance and boost the proportion of squander that is recycled. CIRC-PACK will analyse current authorized constraints, bottlenecks and other non-technological boundaries that are hindering the optimisation of this benefit chain.

‘We hope CIRC-PACK to develop new small business opportunities, for big providers and SMEs, equally inside of the project and additional commonly. We want to change the standpoint from taking into consideration the merchandise on its possess to conceiving it as part of the generation, intake, disposal method,’ says Lanero.

The total aim is to promote changeover to a circular economic system – one that contributes to the EU’s squander administration and recycling targets by 2030.