(2013) How to boost plastics recycling and increase resource efficiency?
At this stage a first draft of our model is being tested in several technical institutes in different European countries," said Paolo Glerean, who heads EuPR
's packaging design task force.
's members constitute 80% of the European recycling capacity, processing more than 5 million tonnes of collected plastics each year.
In How To Increase The Mechanical Recycling Of Post-Consumer Plastics EuPR comments "Since recyclates aim to partly substitute virgin polymers in existing applications, their market value is directly linked to virgin prices.
To increase the perceived value of recycled materials the EuPR calls for the revision of discriminating legislation or standards prohibiting the use of recyclates, a substantial increase in green public procurement economic instruments to promote recyclates such as the inclusion of the waste and recycling sectors into the Emission Trading System--Directive 2003/87/EC, and an Eco-Label scheme to promote the use of minimum mandatory recycled content in products.
EuPR says that despite waste being outside the scope of REACH, recyclers--as producers of raw materials--have to meet some obligations.
The variable nature of the input stream for recycling is a thorny issue which EuPR wants to see addressed from a number of angles, It says that problems arise when an established product stream that is recycled changes from a single-polymer design to a multi-polymer design, such as PE-LD packaging films containing combinations of other polymers and PET barrier bottles combining PET in multi-layer systems with other non-compatible polymers.
What damage this waste will do to the recycling streams is not clear, admits the EuPR
, but it says that oxo-degradable producers "first need to convince the plastics industry (recyclers, converters, fillers....) and the environmental organisation that their products are effectively sustainable as they claim to be before putting them on the market.".
And EuPR, the European Plastics Recyclers Association, has taken issue about claims made for oxo-degradable additives and called for "industry to be watchful not to destroy the achievements of the past years in plastics recycling by using unsustainable technologies."
EuPR is also concerned about the wider effects of introducing degradation additives into the recycling stream and says that the joint efforts made by all the stakeholders in order to achieve the European recycling targets is currently at risk.
While EuPR suggests that public attention will be diverted from recycling by thinking, "it will degrade by itself", which could actually increase littering as people would be less inclined to put their waste in litter bins.
The European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) has been put together by ABC (Alliance for plastic Beverage Containers sustainability), EPRO (European Association of Plastic Recycling & Recovery Organisations), EuPR
(European Plastics Recyclers) and Petcore (PET Containers Recycling Europe).