Actively support collection, sorting and recycling

The food and drink industry will continue to play an active role in supporting the development of well-functioning collection, sorting and recycling systems across Europe. The industry is also working with value chain partners and local authorities to develop new approaches to facilitate recycling.

For instance, Projet Plastique from CITEO in France aims at increasing the collection of all plastics and the restructuring and modernisation of sorting facilities. While all plastics are already collected in many countries (e.g. Austria, Germany, Spain), in Belgium, the organisation Fost Plus will collect all plastic packaging from 2019 and will recycle it in Europe. Increased investment in recycling infrastructure and sorting facilities, research and innovation of suitable recycling techniques, such as chemical recycling, should be put in place.

What we have achieved so far:

Belgian food and drink industry achieves high recycling rates

In Belgium, the national food and drink industry association—Fevia, as well as several individual food companies, were amongst the founding members of Fost Plus, the recognised national organism that promotes, coordinates and finances the collection, sorting and recycling of household packaging waste.

They also co-founded VAL-I-PAC, a similar organism for the stimulation and coordination of the recycling of industrial packaging waste. Together, they achieve top level recycling rates (81,5 % for 2015). In the past few years, an extensive study was undertaken by Fost Plus that led up to the decision to extend the collection of packaging waste to include all plastic packaging.

Swedish industry invests in plastic packaging sorting plant

In Sweden, a new sorting plant for plastic packaging is being built by a company that is jointly owned by fillers, importers, trade and packaging manufacturers. The new plant, which will be fully operational in Q1 2019, will meet more than the entire national demand for sorting and recycling plastic packaging from both households and businesses, minimising expensive logistics and long journeys. It is expected to sharply increase plastic packaging recycling beyond the Swedish government’s 2020 recycling targets.

Another initiative in Sweden was the 2015 extension of the deposit fees system for bottles and cans, which is operated jointly by brewers and retailers. Producers of syrup and juices can now participate in the system on a voluntary basis, which will contribute to higher rates of recycling of plastic bottles.

Nestlé: Strongly involved in setting up EPR schemes

Nestlé has been strongly involved and engaged in the setting-up and supporting of industry owned or industry contributing schemes since the inception of EPR schemes for packaging. Over the years, Nestlé experts have very actively contributed to the establishment of guidelines for “Design for Recycling” and Definitions of Recyclability. In Germany, for example, Nestlé was instrumental in building the “Duales System Deutschland” organisation, including supporting it financially. Nestlé also assembled in concert with the German EPR system the necessary conditions to collect, sort and recycle coffee capsules within the normal packaging waste collection.

Danone Water Spain and the Renueva Project

Danone Water Spain, in collaboration with Danone Écosysteme Fund, Ecoembes and Trinijove Foundation developed the Renueva Project. A packaging selection plant will be built that will enable collection and sorting of packaging waste and create jobs for people with difficulties entering the labour market. It will also raise awareness and educate consumers about the importance of recycling and correctly disposing of waste, with the goal to curb littering.

Mars promotes coffee cups recycling

Mars actively promotes Terracycle for its Freshpacks recycling in the UK and Simply Cups for recycling plastic and paper cups. Mars Drinks has teamed up with innovator TerraCycle to provide a second life to used FLAVIA® Freshpacks, KLIX® Cups and ancillaries across the UK. TerraCycle is a highly-awarded, international upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products. Simply Cups is the UK’s only collection and recycling service dedicated to turning paper and plastic cups into second-life materials.

Coca-Cola leading in improving urban recycling infrastructure

Coca-Cola has partnered with CITEO to collect 26 million additional plastic bottles and 6 million additional cans in Paris by 2019 as part of Coca-Cola’s efforts to collect 100% of its packaging by 2025. The programme, which began in November 2017, involves a trial of nearly 3,000 new collection stations and sorting points. By improving urban recycling infrastructure, the project aims to radically increase the amount of drinks packaging collected on the go.

PepsiCo working on circular solutions for snacks packaging

PepsiCo is leveraging its R&D expertise to create innovative packaging and working with partners to improve technology to recycle or compost flexible films. PepsiCo is an active member of organizations such as the Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX) in Europe and the Materials Recovery for the Future Collaborative in the U.S. to find solutions for recovery of flexible snacks packaging, working to make it a part of the circular economy.

© 2018 FoodDrinkEurope.