Flexible packaging, including bags and bags, has long been a problem for waste processing. A new study shows that flexible plastic packaging has the greatest potential for achieving European plastic processing goals. However, for this it is necessary to overcome some problems. Eunomia’s new study, “Flexible Film Market in Europe: Production, Production, Collection and Processing Data,” shows that each year the EU market receives 15 metric tons of flexible film, of which nine metric tons. polyethylene (PE). According to representatives of the Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) industry trading group, with a processing level of 23% polyethylene films in Europe, much can be improved. In particular, it is necessary to use a stream of household waste, which accounts for about 40% of all plastic film waste generated in the EU.
To achieve higher recycling rates, major investments must be made in improving collection methods and the quality of sorted waste, and this should be done in parallel. “Laminated packaging, for example, is just one of the problems associated with recycling that affects both the recycling and the quality of the recycled materials,” said PRE.
As always, end markets are critical to the success of refining. “High-quality recycled polyethylene applications remain largely underutilized,” commented Ton Emans, president of PRE. “Today, about 13% of polyethylene flexible packaging is used for films and, therefore, is round in practice.”
This trend is further confirmed in a study showing that there is potential for a significant increase in the use of processed content in most major sectors of the film production market. Flexible packaging made of polypropylene (PP), having about 2.5 metric tons on the market, is defined in the study as a recycling stream, which is equally represented insufficiently. The report notes that polypropylene flexible films are often not sorted in a separate waste stream; therefore, viable sorting and processing routes need to be developed.
According to PRE, in connection with the growing consumption and demand for flexible packaging in Europe, politicians and the industry should continue to work hand in hand, developing their round shape.