FPA – January February 2021 - 14

" The industry is starting to coalesce around
this idea of a circular economy and getting
materials back. It is a great time to be
involved. "
-Todd Bukowski, who co-authored the study as a
principal with PTIS, LLC
during the pandemic. One goal will be to ensure that
consumers remain aware of the benefits of flexible
packaging, including the environmental benefits,
moving forward.
" Flexibles are the optimum environmental choice
because they reduce waste at every stage of its life, "
Bolhous said during the Global Pouch Forum held this
fall. " They require less energy to manufacture, generate
less greenhouse gas emissions, use less water, and reduce
transportation costs. "
The report outlines five " roadmaps " to help the
industry drive toward 2025, 2030, and beyond, and
Bukowski points out that the industry has the most
control over the first part-design. The industry can
take steps toward improving products toward circular economy goals, such as having a portfolio that is
largely mono-materials by 2030, even though the
availability of mono-material structures with barriers
and high operational performance is limited today. The
industry also could take other steps such as developing
digital watermarks and chemical markers that will
assist with the sorting of flexible packages. " Converters
really only have control over the design phase, "
Bukowski says. 
The other roadmaps-detailing operations like
collection, sortation, reprocessing, and end markets-
have heavy interest from numerous stakeholders, from
governments to foundations to consumers to brand
owners and other industries. The flexible packaging
industry needs to continue to have an interest, as well,
so it ensures that the solutions, particularly recovery
and recycling infrastructure, provide packaging with
an onramp to circularity. So far, a fully coordinated
effort with recycling infrastructure hasn't been developed.  " We don't have a really strong recovery and
collection and sortation system in place, " he notes. 
The study recommends creating a Producer
Responsibility Organization-or PRO-that can monitor progress and ensure that the funding and infrastructure have the best results for the industry.  " We need to
have really good collaboration with those leading with
collection and sortation, " Bukowski says. 

F l e x P a c k V O I C E TM


Stakeholders agree that moving toward a circular
economy will be expensive and require massive investment, as well as various legislation. 
" We know it is going to take an awful lot of funding.
But, with that said, we know we are not alone on this
journey, " he says.
One group that has been heavily involved is the
Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which develops and
promotes the idea of a circular economy by working
with businesses, academics, policymakers, and institutions, according to its website. In 2016, the foundation
set out to ensure three primary developments: that all
plastics are made to circulate in the economy and out
of the environment; that plastics that aren't needed are
eliminated; and that plastics that are needed are reusable,
recyclable, or compostable. 
The FPA study notes that the foundation created the
New Plastics Economy initiative in 2018 that " applies
the principles of the circular economy and brings
together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the
future of plastics. " The initiative has more than 450
signatories and includes companies representing 20%
of all plastic packaging produced globally, the report
points out. All the consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) that have signed on are fully committed to
having their plastic packaging compostable, recyclable,
or reusable by 2025. 
" There is a huge opportunity to shift from single-use to
reusable formats, " says Joss Bleriot, the Ellen MacArthur
Foundation's executive lead for institutions, governments,
and cities when speaking about the plastics that are needed.
" That requires a fundamental rethink of what is the product you want to deliver-rethinking, and redesigning of
the packaging, sometimes even the product itself. " (Read
our interview with Bleriot on page 8.)
Because of the push by brand owners to meet their
goals, Bukowski says, the industry needs to stay
connected to the various efforts. The report points out
that the initial investment in collecting, sorting, and
reprocessing will likely be geared toward rigid packaging, but much of that investment can apply to flexible
packaging, too. Many traditional municipal recovery
facilities were designed without flexible packaging
in mind. However, the report also notes that a pilot
program in Pennsylvania met most goals for flexible
packaging to be collected, sorted, and made into products for various end markets. 
" It is critical for the industry to collaborate with
others and ensure that the sustainability benefits


FPA – January February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of FPA – January February 2021

FPA – January February 2021 - Cover1
FPA – January February 2021 - Cover2
FPA – January February 2021 - 1
FPA – January February 2021 - 2
FPA – January February 2021 - 3
FPA – January February 2021 - 4
FPA – January February 2021 - 5
FPA – January February 2021 - 6
FPA – January February 2021 - 7
FPA – January February 2021 - 8
FPA – January February 2021 - 9
FPA – January February 2021 - 10
FPA – January February 2021 - 11
FPA – January February 2021 - 12
FPA – January February 2021 - 13
FPA – January February 2021 - 14
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FPA – January February 2021 - 16
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FPA – January February 2021 - 18
FPA – January February 2021 - 19
FPA – January February 2021 - 20
FPA – January February 2021 - 21
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FPA – January February 2021 - 23
FPA – January February 2021 - 24
FPA – January February 2021 - 25
FPA – January February 2021 - 26
FPA – January February 2021 - 27
FPA – January February 2021 - 28
FPA – January February 2021 - 29
FPA – January February 2021 - 30
FPA – January February 2021 - 31
FPA – January February 2021 - 32
FPA – January February 2021 - Cover3
FPA – January February 2021 - Cover4