A consortium of leading players from across the plastics packaging value chain has been formed to promote eco-design, recycling and recovery projects for plastic and paper in France.
Organised by environmental NGO Citeo, the project includes Total, UK plastic recycling specialist Recycling Technologies, and global brands Nestlé and Mars.
The partners will examine technical and economic feasibility of recycling complex plastic waste such as small, flexible and multilayered food-grade packaging, which are currently considered as non-recyclable or difficult to recycle.
“This ambitious project meets Citeo’s goal of finding end-to-end solutions for all packaging,” according to Citeo CEO Jean Hornain. “New recycling technologies, such as chemical recycling, will take performance to the next level and accelerate the circular economy for post-consumer plastic waste, especially when it is complex.”
The initiative will look to deliver short- and medium-term solutions to tackle waste issues and address the circular economy challenges of food-grade plastics.
For Total, the project, will mark an important step in the French energy company’s ambition to produce 30% recycled polymers by 2030, according to Bernard Pinatel, president refining & chemicals.
Supplying the technology is UK-based Recycling Technology, which has developed a proprietary process to produce a hydrocarbon feedstock oil Plaxx from hard-to-recycle plastic waste.
Plaxx can be processed into fuels, waxes or plastics.
“This cross-sector partnership is a great example of the industry working together to bring about the changes necessary to make plastic sustainable,” said Elena Parisi, sales & marketing director at Recycling Technologies.
Major chocolate brand Mars Inc. sees the collaboration in line with its circular packaging plan, which includes the goal for 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025.
“We plan to reduce unnecessary packaging, redesign for circularity and invest to close the loop. Identifying and investing in the right waste management systems is a critical part of the solution to address the plastic waste problem,” said Kate Wylie, global vice president, for sustainability at Mars.
The new pyrolysis project in France, she added, will help identify circular systems for post-consumer plastic packaging and consequently increase the scale of recycling across Europe.
Like Mars, Nestlé has a target of making all its packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025.
The collaboration will help the company improve recycling to tackle the global plastic issue, commented Claudine Rosiers, head of corporate packaging at Nestlé France.