Plastics recyclers say design is priority for industry
European plastics reprocessors have underscored the importance of design for recycling during the annual conference of Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE).
Over 300 participants discussed various projects and collaborations launched in recent months to improve the design of products at the meeting which was held in Brussels 21-22 Nov
The right design, the participants heard, guarantees products’ functionality while ensuring their proper end-of-life management, consequently diverting plastics away from landfills and incineration.
“The resounding message of the conference”, said PRE in a 26 Nov statement, was that of the "urgency in making plastics circular and improving waste management, with the ultimate objective of changing the status quo in plastics production practices".
Among the presenters, Paolo Glerean, chairman of RecyClass, said his platform enables the industry’s transformation from a linear to a circular material flow, by promoting the development and enhancement of design-for-recycling guidelines.
The guidelines are established according to the RecyClass Testing Protocols which are based on scientific methods, Glerean noted.
Speakers at the conference also discussed the “next step” for the industry: to lay the groundwork for the recyclability of plastics products beyond packaging, with a focus on the automotive, building and construction and furniture sectors.
“Plastic recycling conveys a positive message about the transformation of the industry,” said Ton Emans, PRE president, adding “recyclability is the major engine of improving the efficiency and quality of recycling, and at the same time stimulating innovation in the sector.”
In addition to design for recycling, other areas touched on during the event included plastic waste management, collection, sorting, recycling technologies and the uptake of recycled materials.