Traditionally, recycling initiatives have largely focused on plastic, but plastic recycling is not a catch-all solution to this global crisis. For example, most flexible packaging is too complex, contaminated by food, and too lightweight to be recycled. As a result, out of the 400,000 tonnes of plastic packaging that is used annually in the UK, only four per cent gets recycled.
In recent years, stringent regulatory rules and standards have augmented the adoption of eco-friendly packaging materials. The Australian Government revealed its National Packaging Targets for industry include 100% of packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable and 70% of plastic packaging goes on to be recycled or composted. The new UK Government is committed to alternative materials stating it would collect compostable packaging along with organic waste from all over the country by 2023. Investment into appropriate infrastructure therefore opens the possibility of completely replacing flexible plastic packaging with compostable alternatives.
Numerous initiatives have been taken up by packaging producers and brand owners to tackle the issue of waste and to find sustainable alternatives. Several manufacturers have shifted to producing compostable packaging which will require a lot of material science innovation. Mars Wrigley announced plans to roll out compostable packaging for Skittles, and depending on outcome of this North American-based “test and learn” initiative, may incorporate the innovation across its portfolio of brands, as well as take it to other parts of the world with underdeveloped recycling infrastructures. Why Mars Wrigley is Turning to Compostable Packaging and Future Ambitions – 1 April 2021, Waste360
Compostable Packaging has great potential to be part of the solution to growing plastic waste problem, but they also present challenges. This event will give you latest insights into the compostable packaging market including regulatory updates, supply and demand, material innovation, challenges and opportunities.
• (Chairperson) Bruno R. Pereira, Chief Sustainability Officer, BioLogiQ
• Brooke Donnelly, CEO, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO)
• Vincent Kneefel, Senior Director of Sustainability, TIPA
• Marco Versari, Head of Institutional Relations, Novamont; Chair of Biorepack
• Susan Thoman, Managing Director, Compost Manufacturing Alliance
• Atul Tyagi, Vice President, Export Sales Industrial White BU, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP)
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