Recyclability by Design for Multilayer Plastic Flexible Packaging

University essay from Lunds universitet/Förpackningslogistik

Abstract: Various recyclability by design (RBD) guidelines for multilayer plastic flexible packaging (MPFP) were assessed for consistency among parameter values. 9% consistency was observed, which is on the lower end of devised consistency scale. Poly-ethylene and poly-propylene are the two major emerging recycling streams in Danone Nutricia’s six key EU market countries. However, a need for consolidated centralized sorting and recycling data at EU level was identified as one of the major hinderance in designing and development of effective recyclable MPFP. Among the countries assessed for recycling efficiency, France was found to be the least MPFP recycling efficient country whereas The Netherlands is the most efficient. A lack of information exchange and collaboration among various stakeholders was also revealed, especially among brands and recyclers. At consumers end, a sense of responsibility towards plastic waste segregation was observed, however a lack of understanding about recyclable MPFP was also revealed through consumer survey. This factor been identified as a marketing opportunity. Majority stakeholders have a gravitation towards mono-material MPFP for recyclable design. This gives an insight into the future of MPFP, its design and recyclability in EU. However, barrier related issues are evident with mono-material MPFP that needs to be taken into consideration. A lack of consideration was observed among stakeholders regarding solvent based MPFP recycling technologies whose categories in mechanical recycling is still a gray area. Mono-material based MPFP is currently more cost intensive than conventional MPFP, hence a comparison in terms of cost, LCA as well as performance is a future study recommendation to assess the viability of both types.

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