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14.06.2021
Latest News Wrap-Up /

Boost for recycling of flexibles

In the Wrap-Up this week … Boost for recycling of flexibles. Label change for PP packaging. Essentials for collecting flexible packaging waste. Chemical recycling cash injection. And more.

FOR STARTERS …

BOOST FOR RECYCLING OF FLEXIBLES

The efforts to increase the recycling of flexible packaging have gained a boost on several fronts, including the recently-launched £1 million Flexible Plastic Fund, as covered in our special Wrap-update.

Sainsbury's and Waitrose have already signed up to support the fund targeting all flexible plastic packaging, including scrunchy bags, pouches, sachets, wrapping, and films.

The initiative will help to boost the collection of flexible plastics, which has gained momentum this year within supermarkets, including:

LABEL CHANGE FOR PP-PACKAGING

The On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) is changing its labelling rules to include polypropylene (PP) films from January 1st 2022

This move will bring PP flexible packaging into line with PE films, significantly broadening the range of soft packaging that consumers can recycle within supermarkets.

Also, OPRL's Alice Harlock has suggested the in-store collections could be a tipping point for recycling flexibles.

COLLECTING ESSENTIALS

CEFLEX has agreed on a common position on the essentials for collecting flexible packaging waste in a circular economy. In its approved position statement, CEFLEX outlines four key elements:

  1. All flexible packaging must be targeted for collection and sorting, including on-the-go packaging.
  2. Flexible plastic packaging should be collected as a separate stream or with other light packaging.
  3. Additional sorting of flexible packaging from mixed waste is likely necessary.
  4. CEFLEX and its stakeholders aim to work with the national authorities and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes to develop effective collection systems.

EUR0 2030 CASH INJECTION

European plastics manufacturers are planning a significant increase in chemical recycling investment, from 2.6 billion Euros in 2025 to 7.2 billion Euros in 2030.

Dr Markus Steilemann, President of PlasticsEurope, said: "Chemical recycling is a game-changer and a key building block of the circular economy."

FLEXIBLE QUALITIES

For World Food Safety Day, Flexible Packaging Europe highlighted the protection and preservation qualities of flexible packaging. And, in their latest animation, we were reminded how flexible packaging reduces food waste through adjustable portions and by extending the shelf life of products.

SUSTAINABLE FILMS IN FOCUS

Recyclability and sustainability in lidding films were the key topics when John Shipley, our Business Unit Director for Oceana & Asia, spoke to Packaging News.

The article coincided with the launch of the ANZ Plastics Pact, signed by Aldi, Coles and Woolworths, who have recently announced slashing of 9000 tonnes of plastic packaging.

John spoke about the important role of PET-based lidding films, as well as initiatives needed to drive sustainability in lidding films, including:

  • More informed design choices.
  • Increasing the scope and range of materials collected.
  • The need for significant investment in the sorting and recycling infrastructure and technology.
  • Education, to overcome some of the myths surrounding plastics and challenge some of the greenwashing that is confusing to customers.

At KM, we are committed to developing sustainable packaging solutions and are proud to have recently become an APCO member and REDcycle partner.  

TOP OF THE POPS

Prevented Ocean Plastic (POP) is recycled plastic collected from coastal areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution. And the scheme has been hitting the headlines, including:

ALAN'S IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Alan Hewitt's arrival at KM has captured attention within the industry. And we're delighted to have him on board. Alan has shared his views on the flexible packaging industry and revealed his optimism about meeting the challenges and opportunities.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

(And read our blog on lidding films suitable for HPP).

AND FINALLY …

National Geographic has reported that at least 100 nations have expressed support for a global treaty to address plastic waste.

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

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