Ensuring sustainability is a key concern for plastic packaging manufacturers. The industry is embracing the growing trend to reuse and recycle plastics. Companies offering packaging that is easy to recycle have a competitive edge at a time where the question of reducing waste and its implications is a key concern to consumers and legislators alike.
But sustainability is not achieved only through recycling. To have a real impact on our economy and society, sustainability needs to be incorporated throughout the whole lifecycle of a product. Therefore, plastic converting companies aim to make a contribution at every stage, including design and manufacture, efficient transportation and filling, and effective product protection, as well as end-of-life solutions such as recycling, reuse and the use of recycled material.
Smarter packaging means greater material savings and less use of natural resources.
Plastics have a strong environmental profile. All polymers are lightweight, durable, low carbon and recyclable. Thanks to these benefits, plastic packaging products provide a sustainable solution while still being fit-for-purpose:
They are lightweight and can substitute heavier packaging materials, making a significant contribution to reducing a business’s carbon footprint and the impact of transportation, as well as helping to minimise raw material usage.
Plastic packaging has excellent product safety properties, as it keeps products safer for longer and avoids unnecessary waste. With food waste acknowledged as a major environmental issue, plastic packaging can extend shelf-life. The introduction of extended ambient shelf-life products also reduces the energy demands on refrigeration in retail outlets and at home.
All plastics are recyclable and can be used to manufacture a variety of other products. Should recycling not be feasible for e.g. economic reasons, plastics have excellent energy recovery rates when incinerated.
EuPC also supports Waste Free Oceans (WFO) in its mission to collect and recycle ocean plastic to transform it into new products. WFO works together with recyclers, converters and brands to make optimal use of available resources and raise awareness on the issue of ocean plastic. Based in Brussels, it also operates in the Americas and Asia. Find out more about WFO on www.wastefreeoceans.org.
In a circular economy, resource use, emissions and waste generation are minimised by closing material and energy loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling.
The European plastics converting industry embraces this trend and makes an important contribution to the progressing circularity of our economy. As described above, plastic products have the necessary properties to enable our society a more sustainable use of resources.
Nonetheless, the potential of the plastics converting industry for the circular economy needs to be stretched if we want to reach the ambitious recycling targets, especially as converting companies form by far the biggest part of the European plastics industry.
EuPC, its members and the plastics converting industry are constantly working together with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the best possible progress of the circular economy, as EuPC is convinced, that the circular economy offers an excellent opportunity to reinvent our economy, making it more sustainable and competitive.