Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 12

opinion

Will 2020 be an inflexion
point in the transformation
to a circular economy for
plastic packaging?

E

Historians looking back
at 2020 will undoubtedly
declare it to be one of the
most momentous years of
recent times. The trilliondollar question, though, is
whether they will also say
that it was the year when the
world's global consumption
patterns finally shifted,
when we changed how we
use finite natural resources
and how we treat the planet
we live on, writes Venetia
Spencer, Secretary General
of PCEP.

ven as the Coronavirus
pandemic dominated
global headlines, plastic waste and pollution
still captured the attention of the
public, governments, media and
businesses around the world. It
is clear that solving the plastic
waste crisis is not only about
clean-ups and waste management infrastructure in the developing world. Rather, the whole
economy must shift from today's
linear take-make-waste model to one in which plastic never
becomes waste, or pollution.
Industry, in particular, must fundamentally rethink the way we
design, use, and reuse plastics.
And, beyond this, how we engage with the final user of our
products to create a systemic
shift including a relationship that
sees the value in our materials,
and the value in keeping them in
a circular economy.
The Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) is a forum
for all organisations and stake-

12

P012_P013_SP_20210209.indd 12

holders in the polyolefin (PO)
value chain - brand owners,
retailers, waste management
organisations, recyclers, converters, producers and everyone else. PCEP is where we
exchange ideas, showcase projects and work together to maximise innovation to advance the
circular economy. We are on a
mission together to transform
the polyolefin system from a
linear to a circular one. PCEP's
mission has three guiding principles: designing out waste;
keeping products and materials
in use for as long as possible;
and recycling into high-quality
new raw materials.
PCEP drives the focus of our
work through firm voluntary
commitments, including the
largest single polymer pledge
made in the scope of the European Union's plastic pledging
campaign. We voluntarily committed to increase the amount
of recycled PO from post-consumer waste used in Europe-

an products by an additional
1,000,000 tonnes, bringing us to
3MT a year of PCR in products
by 2025.
Our role in the transition to a
carbon neutral circular economy for packaging is clear. Polyolefins represent 70% of Europe's plastic packaging market
and at the end of life that packaging represents the majority,
71%, of the collected post-consumer polyolefin waste. That
collected material goes on to
be transformed into over 80%
of the post-consumer recycled
polyolefins being used today
in European products - across
packaging, construction, automotive, electronics, agriculture
and other sectors. Data is from
a study for PCEP by Conversio.
Getting packaging right will result in a dramatic shift in the circularity of PO as a whole.
When the PO industry takes
responsibility for its own footprint,
we will be the enabler for everyone else's transformation too.

But what outside factors
will help us meet our commitments? In our view, there are
three significant factors that will
drive the transformation to plastic packaging circularity.
The first is national government priorities. The Coronavirus crisis, while creating a
global human tragedy and economic disaster, can and should
be used as an opportunity to rebuild the entire packaging value chain as a circular economy.
PCEP is advocating strongly
that investment decisions taken
by EU countries as part of the
€1.8 trillion European recovery
package should be focused on
delivering the circular economy.
Today, the majority of collected
waste plastic ends up in energy recovery. Investing to create
an efficient and high-quality
pan-European collection and
sorting infrastructure is vital
to generate the necessary volumes that will make recycling
polyolefins economically viable.

January/February 2021

1/29/21 12:16 PM



Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 8
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 9
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 10
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 11
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 12
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 13
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 14
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 15
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 16
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 17
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 18
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 19
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 20
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 21
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 22
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 23
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 24
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 25
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 26
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 27
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 28
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 29
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 30
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 31
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 32
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 33
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - 34
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2021 - Cover4
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