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Recycling Roadmap for Flexible Packaging

This week's wrap-up - 26/02/21

In this week's wrap-up … FLEXIBLE PACKAGING and a recycling roadmap, viability of mechanically recycling, new circular economy consortium, and the future of sustainability. Survey reveals the best and worst supermarkets. Updates from the tray sealing world. Our views and news. And more …

RECYCLING FOR STARTERS …

Roadmap for flexible packaging

A new report has been released setting out a roadmap on how better to recycle flexible packaging.

The report, "Mapping the value chain for flexible plastic packaging in the UK", has been produced by SUEZ recycling and recovery for the Flexible Packaging Consortium, including Nestle and Mars.

Key elements are:

  • The importance of flexible packaging kerbside collections.
  • The implications of upcoming legislation, including the deposit return scheme (DRS).
  • How space can be made for flexible packaging in refuse vehicles.

The research highlighted that currently only 10 to 17% of councils collect film or flexible packaging from the kerbside, and many of those only collect limited types.

In-store solution

Sainsbury's is to trial a new in-store recycling system for flexible plastics. Customers in 63 stores will use collection points to recycle polypropylene (PP) film found in several household plastic products like salad bags and frozen food bags. 

Mechanical wonder

High-value applications for recycled polymers from a mechanical recycling process are viable, according to a new Quality Recycling Process (QRP) for flexible packaging from CEFLEX.

The means, for example, that household-collected, post-consumer flexible packaging can be recycled back to non-food packaging.

Pulling together

A new consortium of industry players is promoting the use of mono-PET flexible packaging in the circular economy.

The Vita Nova consortium promises to deliver valuable results, enabling the European flexible packaging market to respond to growing pressures to improve flexible packaging recyclability.

Enlightening illustrations

Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) highlight in their latest animated infographics that:

  1. Flexible packaging is increasingly recycled, but only if it is properly collected.
  2. Improving the end-of-life performance of flexible packaging is a significant step to a more sustainable future.

Paving the way with plastic

Plastic bags and soft plastic packaging recovered from recycling points in Coles supermarkets in Australia is being converted into a material being used in concrete for pavements and kerbs.  Polyrok concrete, an innovation from Replas, is a sustainable recycled plastic aggregate alternative to mineral aggregate in concrete.

Future-proof packaging

Recycling options for flexible plastic packaging are continually growing, according to the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) in the US. Their report on the future of sustainability includes:

  • Sustainability is a top priority for the majority of the packaging value chain.
  • Integrating flexible packaging into the circular economy can be done with pervasive collaboration and designing for recyclability.

DOWN THE AISLES

The best and worst supermarkets

A Which? survey has revealed the supermarkets offering the best service, products, and value. Aldi has been rated top with its value for money, while Sainsbury's is best for online. 

Pandemic driven shoppers online …

The grocery landscape has changed "for good", Ocado has said, after the global pandemic has forced many people to buy online for the first time.

… towards the frozen section 

Frozen foods have become a "pandemic powerhouse" with sales rising 21% from 2019 to 2020, according to a new US report. And frozen food buyers said "they want more resealable packaging, different quantities and pack sizes, and environmentally sustainable packaging".

TRAY SEALING UPDATES

New arrival: Packaging Automation have announced the arrival of the latest addition to their Revolution range of fully electric automatic tray sealers with a new ergonomic design, and innovative features that take manufacturing efficiency and energy saving to the next level. 

Bearing fruit: Proseal have highlighted how their advanced tray sealing machines are helping growers meet the ever-increasing demand for soft fruit by providing high quality, flexible sealing solutions that also deliver on sustainability. 

LATEST FROM KM

Boxing clever: Meet Konrad Webster, our Graduate Trainee who doesn't pull any punches when it comes to delivering customer service.

It’s a wrap: Watch our new video to discover how we've been driving lidding film innovation to bring you more than just a packaging solution. It's been 37 years in the making and is just over a minute long!

ALSO IN THE NEWS

DIARY DATE

March 14 – The Challenges of Incorporating Recycled Content in Plastics Packaging

This online seminar from the BPF will provide an in-depth look at market trends in recycled content, the Government's outlook for the future, the role of chemical recycling, and certifying recycled content. 

Read it here first: You may also be interested in our previous insightful article: The challenges of PCR in lidding film for high temperatures

AND FINALLY …

Working well from home

Many of us are currently working from home, and MIND has recognised that the usual support we access in our workplaces may not be readily available. To help, the organisation has published: Working from home:  a Wellness Action Plan

The "WAP" provides a personalised, practical tool to support our wellbeing whether we have a mental health problem or not.

From the KM team … stay safe, keep up the good work, and value plastic.
 

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