A new project has been organised by a consortium of European companies to bring flexible packaging more in line with circular economy and further highlight the recycling potentials of flexible packaging.
Ceflex, (Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging) represents the entire value chain of flexible packaging and aims to stimulate increased collection of flexible packaging in all European countries. The project also expects to develop a set of design guidelines for flexible packaging to both maximise the overall resource efficiency and optimise the recyclability.
The project will continue the work of the recently concluded project Fiace, which helped to quantify the added value and identify opportunities to increase recycling of flexible packaging. Additionally, it will continue the work of Reflex, a technical project focused on recycling flexible packaging in the UK.
The programme will work towards the development of a collection, sorting and reprocessing infrastructure for post-consumer flexible packaging across Europe by 2025.
According to a 26 April Ceflex statement, the consortium currently has 34 stakeholders, representing all the “major value chain players”, including raw materials suppliers, packaging converters, brand owners and retailers.
“The earlier studies clearly identified technical solutions for successfully sorting and recycling more than 50% of flexible packaging, using state of the art technologies. We are moving forward from this excellent work,” explained project coordinator Graham Houlder.
“We expect more flexible packaging to be collected and recycled in an increasing number of European countries,” Houlder added.
“We have already developed successful techniques to separate and sort mixed materials. These need to be improved and expanded,” added mtm plastics managing director, Michael Scriba, whose company, under the parent group Borealis, is a member of Ceflex.
In addition, he went on to say, there is a need to further develop and establish financially sustainable end markets for secondary materials recycled from flexible packaging.