Plastic waste poses an undisputable risk to the environment and to society. We support the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which calls for a circular economy where plastic waste and pollution are addressed at its source.
One of the foremost challenges facing the Global Commitment on recyclable packaging lies in balancing market expectations around price and functional performance with recycling requirements and compatibility with waste collection technology and infrastructure in the markets where products are sold.
As part of our involvement in the New Plastics Economy initiative, we led a pre-competitive partnership project to design and prototype a plasticbased flexible packaging solution that is scalable and commercially viable and can be processed in sorting and recycling facilities.
One application targeted was packaging for household detergent in the form of a large-format form-fill-seal pouch. The project successfully developed a solution that replaces PET/PE multilayer laminates with a mono-material and includes a minimum 20% postconsumer recycled (PCR) plastic content. The use of PCR increases circularity by providing an end-use for material being recycled in the marketplace.
The project was facilitated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and delivered in collaboration with customers, competitors, resin producers, recycling companies and other stakeholders.
Partners worked together with open communication and equal opportunity to contribute to and influence the outcome of the project.
This type of open collaboration is key to developing a circular economy. Sharing knowledge and expectations across the value chain will accelerate progress towards more sustainable packaging solutions at scale – be they design for recycling or flexible packaging made with recycled content.