FPA – January February 2021 - 15

A Flexible Packaging Path
to a Circular Economy
FPA Sustainability Roadmaps
October 8, 2020

IDENTIFYING CHALLENGES
A report commissioned by the FPA-A
Flexible Packaging Path to a Circular
Economy-offers guidance on where the
industry could be by 2030. It identifies
a number of challenges, including the
following: 
* Development of high-barrier monomaterial (or polyolefin-based) structures
* Lack of consistent recovery systems/
rules across the country
* Lack of collection infrastructure for
flexible packaging
* Limited value of flexible packaging
that is collected today due to a lack of
end-market applications and demand
* Value of PCR compared to virgin material in price and performance
* Need for infrastructure funding to support collection, sortation, reprocessing,
and end markets
* Lack of ownership by any one entity for
the recovery infrastructure, resulting in a
lack of overall action
* Consumer education on the value of flexible packaging along with recycling options 

ROADMAPS TO FOLLOW
A Flexible Packaging Path to a Circular
Economy report identifies five roadmaps to
help steer the industry toward objectives
by 2025, 2030, and 2040.
1. Design: " Design is the primary roadmap area where flexible packaging

converters have direct control. Focus
for 2030 is on recyclability, compostability (for certain food service and
closed-venue applications), and developing structures and technology to aid
in the sortation, such as the incorporation of digital watermarks. The initial
focus is on polyethylene (PE)-based
structures, but longer term will include
polypropylene- (PP) and even paperbased substrates. "
2. Collection: " Identification of new
programs such as curbside pickup, bulk
flexible packaging collection (ex. master
bag holding other flexible packaging),
and drop-off stations/depots in urban
and rural areas to enhance the convenience and expand the collection of
flexible packaging. "
3. Sortation: " Infrastructure investment
will be critical, including optical sorters,
artificial intelligence, robotics, as well
as digital/chemical markers on flexible
packaging to aid in efficiency and reducing contamination. "
4.Reprocessing: " Development of additional cleaning infrastructure, along
with mechanical recycling capabilities.
Efficiencies in reprocessing will be aided
through better sortation. By 2030, there
will be commercialized examples of
mid-sized scaling of advanced recycling,
which will allow better use of flexible
packaging back into new flexible packaging through virgin quality monomers. "
5. End Markets: " Post-Consumer Recycled
(PCR) requirements will be driven by
brand owner goals (and likely some
level of legislation), which will enhance
end markets for flexible packaging by
2030. In the meantime, the industry will
need to identify new end-market applications (ex. construction film, non-food,
industrial, etc.). Post-consumer recycled
(PCR) focus will initially be driven by
rigid applications before starting to
reach higher levels for flexible plastic
packaging (FPP) by 2030. "

J a n u a r y/ F e b r u a r y 2 0 2 1

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

15



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
FPA – January February 2021 - 15
FPA – January February 2021 - 16
FPA – January February 2021 - 17
FPA – January February 2021 - 18
FPA – January February 2021 - 19
FPA – January February 2021 - 20
FPA – January February 2021 - 21
FPA – January February 2021 - 22
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
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/FPA/FPA_MarchApril2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/FPA/FPA_NovemberDecember2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/FPA/FPA_SeptemberOctober2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/FPA/FPA_JulyAugust2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/FPA/FPA_MayJune2020
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