A consortium of European companies has created a new project to bring more recycling to flexible packaging, which would put it more in line with a "circular economy."
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 maximize the overall resource efficiency and optimize 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 United Kingdom.
The program will work towards the development of a collection, sorting and reprocessing infrastructure for post-consumer flexible packaging across Europe by 2025.
According to an April 26 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 percent 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 Michael Scriba, plastics manager director within materials supplier Borealis, which 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.