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How does the plastic packaging industry create a recycling closed loop?

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How does the plastic packaging industry create a recycling closed loop?
Latest company news about How does the plastic packaging industry create a recycling closed loop?

Plastic packaging has become a typical representative of unsustainable consumption. Due to its high cost-effectiveness in product protection and preservation, plastic packaging has always been favored, and the industry has developed rapidly in decades. However, over the years, the unsustainability of the plastic packaging industry has gradually been exposed, and the plastic waste piled up on the beach is an epitome.

So, can improving the recycling rate really control plastic pollution? Does improved packaging design help solve the problem? How to make the plastic packaging industry realize the real benign development?
Promote plastic recycling
Wood Mackenzie recently published an article saying that many manufacturers in the global plastic packaging industry have realized that the plastic packaging industry is facing severe challenges. Admittedly, the industry reform is under way, but it still needs to be strengthened and accelerated. Improving the effective use of recycled materials is one of the key measures to control plastic pollution in plastic packaging industry.
On the one hand, recycling post consumption plastics can further tap the utilization value and reuse waste plastics to avoid their direct flow into the natural environment. On the other hand, recycled materials can replace the primary plastics required for plastic packaging production, reduce the use of fossil fuels and reduce the carbon footprint of the plastic packaging industry.
The supplier of recycled materials cannot meet the demand
In view of the relatively low level of plastic recycling, the most concerned problem of the plastic packaging industry is whether the supply of recycled materials can meet the production demand. At present, mechanical recycling accounts for more than 90% of the total recycling share of plastic packaging.
However, the recycling rate of this recycling method is low. Only 15% of the waste plastics can be effectively processed and reused for packaging (almost all of which are PET bottles). The remaining plastic waste is degraded and recycled and applied in other fields. Wood Mackenzie predicts that by 2040, the growth rate of closed-loop recycling will nearly double that of open-loop recycling, and the growth rate of recycled plastics market will be higher than that of primary plastics market, but it still can not meet the potential demand for recycled materials.
Chemical recycling may effectively solve plastic pollution
In recent years, chemical recycling has become a hot topic in the plastic industry. This technology can bring more polymers and their application products into the recyclable range. Although chemical recovery has not officially entered commercialization, some important new project announcements have been issued from 2020 to 2021, and these projects will be put into operation before 2025. It is estimated that by 2040, the compound annual growth rate of plastic packaging chemical recycling will exceed 15%.
The application of various recycling technologies will greatly improve the plastic recovery rate and thus increase the output of recyclable plastics, but the situation varies from region to region. According to wood Mackenzie, Europe will still have the highest recovery rate by 2040, and strict regulatory measures will drive the recovery rate to more than 50%. The recovery rate in North America increased the most, about 20%. Major consumer brands will effectively drive the relatively low recovery rate in the region.
The above trend shows that the plastic recycling industry will usher in prosperity in the future, but this is not enough to offset the negative impact of plastic packaging on the environment. In fact, promoting recycling is only one aspect of promoting the development of circular economy. Overall, in order to create more sustainable products that meet the needs of consumers, the plastic packaging industry must comprehensively consider many aspects. For example, redesigning product packaging is also key.
Pub Time : 2022-05-05 09:47:45 >> News list
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