Technological watch

Industry stakeholders stakeholders rally in support of chemical recycling

Following the government’s announcement that a consultation will be launched on whether mass balance can be used to account for chemically recycled material within the Plastic Packaging Tax, the British Plastics Federation (BPF), alongside many other stakeholder organisations, wrote to key politicians at the end of May. calling for the government’s consultation to be launched as soon as possible and highlighting the ‘vital’ importance of permitting mass balance.  × BPF recycling hub The letter was signed by the BPF; PlasticsEurope; RECOUP; ecoSURETY; the Chemical Industries Association(CIA) the Foodservice Packaging Association; INCPEN; On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL); the Food and Drink Federation (FDF); the Environmental Services Association (ESA); the Packaging Federation; the Chartered Institution of Waste Management (CIWM); the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3); and the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfume Association (CTPA). 

A comprehensive resource for chemical recycling has also been launched by the BPF, an online hub dedicated to the chemical recycling of plastics. 

These developments are “timely, desirable and very much needed,” says BPF Director General Philip Law. He forcefully underlined the need for the technology at last November’s BPF Parliamentary Reception, where he said that “the government needs to fully acknowledge the role of chemical recycling alongside mechanical recycling – together with the role of mass balance in verifying the precise contribution of chemical recycling towards achieving targets.” 

Law continued: “Finally, we are hopeful the wheels are turning. The BPF is delighted to be assisting and supporting the UK’s plastic value chain, which absolutely needs chemical recycling in the mix if we are to create a truly circular economy.” 

The BPF’s new online hub is the first output from the newly formed Chemical Recycling and New Technologies Working Group, which is part of the BPF Recycling Group. The BPF will also be looking to set up a specific task force on mass balance to help widen understanding of these accounting techniques. 

The new hub aims to  unpack the chemical recycling topic with easy and colourful graphics, flow and process charts and other aids to understanding the issues and the technology. It includes an overview of mass balance as well as links to various relevant online resources.

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Publication date: 30/05/2023

European Plastic Product Manufacturer

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2022-01-31