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Definition and development of functional barriers for the use of recycled materials in multilayer food packaging

TECHNOLOGICAL WATCH

Type of information: NEWS

In this section, you can access to the latest technical information related to the BANUS project topic.

Unpacking Klöckner Pentaplast’s Positive Plastics Pledge

In mid-September, Klöckner Pentaplast (Montabaur, Germany), a global plastic packaging and film provider, announced a new Positive Plastics Pledge, outlining a commitment to develop and manage its products for a sustainable future. Where possible, kp plans to increase to 100% the company’s usage of recyclable and sustainably sourced polymers by 2028.

“We have big ideas about reducing littering, ensuring that used plastic is appreciated as a valuable new material and addressing climate change, whilst continuing to protect products and prevent food waste through our packaging,” said kp CEO, Daniel Dayan. “We have long recognized the challenges when it comes to the life cycle of plastics and believe a transformational shift is required in the way plastic is managed by our industry, by consumers and by society in general.”

kp’s Positive Plastics Pledge centers on four key areas of commitment and action:

  • Innovate – kp is committed to doing more with less and conserving the planet by reducing the weight of its packaging and using up to 100% recycled content where possible.
  • Accelerate – By 2028, kp will only use materials that are practically recyclable or sustainably sourced and will simplify its polymer and material mix to ease recycling.
  • Educate – To highlight the benefits of plastic during and after use, kp is engaging with consumers and communities about responsible disposal and the value of plastic waste as a resource.
  • Activate – To help close the loop on plastics, kp is leading discussions and initiatives that will transform collection and recycling infrastructure around the world.
PLASTEC Minneapolis 2018 held October 31-November 1 is part of the Midwest’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event that also includes MinnPack brings you the latest in materials and additives, injection molding, rapid prototyping, coatings, automation, packaging and more. For details, visit .

Lubna Edwards, kp’s Global Sustainability Director, responds to PlasticsToday’s questions about this landmark pledge.

Is this a shift in policy or an extension or fine-tuning of the company’s direction in sustainability?

Edwards: We have long recognized the challenges associated with the life cycle of plastics and believe a transformational shift is required in the way it is managed by our industry, government, consumers and society in general. Leakage and littering of plastics and other materials in our oceans and land is unacceptable and the media have highlighted the impacts of this which has touched the hearts and minds of all of us. And although the current media scrutiny is healthy, the narrative doesn’t always reflect reality; there is a lot of inaccurate information and misperception that, through repetition, becomes viewed as reality or fact.

We have been working on many initiatives for many years: optimizing resource use, lightweighting, designing for recyclability, using a significant amount of recycled materials. These aren’t new to us, but we need to do a better job of communicating our progress and plans at a time when people are looking for answers.

That’s why we’re launching the Positive Plastics Pledge now: to dispel the myths. To restate our long-term aspirations in a clear, cohesive way, to ramp up our plans, taking them to another level that stretches far beyond the four walls of kp. And to turn up the volume on our call for a future with less waste and better recycling of plastics.

How much of a tangible difference can the company make beyond taking a prominent position?

Edwards: We are well placed to lead from the front, as we offer truly sustainable packaging solutions. We use up to 95% post-consumer recycled polyester (rPET) in many of our products which are also recyclable, creating a closed loop.

We understand our obligations need to go further than what we design and manufacture. We invest to educate and encourage others, but that will only take us so far. Other players within the recycling system need to do their bit. For example, some of our products use expanded polystyrene (EPS), a very sustainable material. It’s protective, lightweight and resource-efficient. It’s also easy to recycle, yet the collection and recycling infrastructure is not readily available in the U.K. due to it being so lightweight and tough to collect in large volumes.

Another example is the collection and recycling of PET pots, tubs and trays. PET is a valuable raw material and should not go to waste. Not enough is being collected, sorted and recycled despite there being a high-end market for rPET. We need incentivized mechanisms and investment in infrastructure to dramatically improve this situation.

So our Pledge calls for joined-up thinking within the entire supply and value chain—from raw material suppliers to plastics producers, food processors, retailers, brands, consumers, local authorities and waste management, recyclers, and governments—to collaborate in a considered, coordinated approach.  Only then can we achieve the much-needed transformational change.

Next: Unpacking the four key areas of Innovate, Accelerate, Educate and Activate

 

PLASTEC Minneapolis 2018 held October 31-November 1 is part of the Midwest’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event that also includes MinnPack brings you the latest in materials and additives, injection molding, rapid prototyping, coatings, automation, packaging and more. For details, visit .

 

» Publication Date: 02/10/2018

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, technological development and demonstration (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [606572].

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