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Although flexible packaging waste accounts for 45 per cent of household waste, it remains one of the most challenging types of processing and recycling materials.
This kind of packaging is not only often contaminated and difficult to collect, classify and transport, but also usually has a multi-layer material structure composed of plastic, paper or foil, which further complicates the scrap processing.
Admittedly, the technologies to solve these problems already exist, but most of them have not been widely adopted, and the recovery rate is still very low.
"Plastics are highly engineered products designed to meet the needs of specific applications, such as advanced moisture or oxygen barriers, to keep food fresh and minimize corruption," explains Martyn tickener, principal consultant for the end of plastic waste alliance project development and recycling solutions. "However, this complexity creates complexity after use.
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3million bonus to find new solutions
To help solve this problem, the Alliance announced a $3million bonus to encourage innovation in the circular economy solution of plastic flexible packaging for household waste.
The first award aims to identify and accelerate new solutions to achieve more effective collection, processing and recycling of flexible plastics. These solutions should also be commercially viable and replicable so that they can be widely adopted in different regions. Invite innovators from all over the world.
"Therefore, we are looking for new solutions that go beyond traditional thinking, and these solutions can form the foundation of the next generation of innovation to support the plastic circular economy," said Tickner.
A winner with the best demonstration solution will be selected in January 2023. In addition to the award, the winner will receive guidance and expertise from the entire plastic value chain, which will help address early development risks that may hinder large-scale deployment. In addition, other promising innovations may reach global networks of potential supporters or investors through the alliance community.
A recent report of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation pointed out that it is impossible to get rid of disposable flexible packaging without negative unintended consequences, and called for urgent efforts in packaging design, infrastructure and policy.
A large amount of investment is needed to quickly track promising solutions to promote flexible circularity, "said Jacob duer, President and CEO of the alliance." the $3million alliance award is one of our contributions to supporting this global effort. We look forward to the participation of innovators from all over the world in developing influential solutions in this field.