Plastics Recycling Expo (PRE) 2015

Now in its second edition, Plastics Recycling Expo (PRE) will take place from 16 to 17th June in Telford, UK, featuring an exhibition and conference specifically for plastics recycling professionals. image
This two day exhibition and strategic conference will provide an opportunity to network with a broad cross section of the industry and to meet decision makers from the public and private sector. The event will unite specialists from design/manufacturing, brand owners from the packaging, automotive, medical and consumer goods sectors and those already involved in plastics recycling (waste management companies, local authorities, government and plastic collection, recycling and reuse companies) to conduct business and discuss the future of plastics recycling. For more information about PRE, just click HERE.


PET trays environmental dilemma

Today the design of most PET trays makes them difficult to recycle in the existing waste streams. In the future this situation can be reversed by changing the trays’ design and allow their recycling. PRE (Plastics Recylers Europe) will develop recycling guidelines specific for PET trays.
In the last few years there has been a significant increase in the use of PET trays by the packaging industry. Unfortunately, this increase has not been adequately addressed in the end-of-life solutions for these trays. As a result of poor end-of-life thinking, most of these trays cannot be easily recycled. None of the current recycling streams want to have PET trays in their incoming waste. PET recyclers cannot handle them because of their different composition (multi-layers, multi-material combinations etc.) when compared to beverage bottles. Mixed plastics recyclers do not want them because of their incompatibility with polyolefins. This is a painful situation as the 700,000 tonnes of PET trays yearly put on the market should be a valuable resource for the EU. Today, these trays are not sorted out separately and are not recycled. Nonetheless, some collection schemes and sorters are trying to push trays into the PET bottles or Mixed Plastics streams in order to achieve higher recycling targets. The key factor to change this market reality is to act at the design stage of this product. Industry must evolve in order to maintain and grow the market for this packaging product. Without such a change this PET market could be replaced by more resource efficient solutions.Thus, to overcome this situation PRE will take responsibility and start developing recycling guidelines for PET trays. These first guidelines will enable the value chain to assess the recyclability of the products which are put on the market and move towards recyclable PET trays. In a second step separate sorting streams will have to be created to enable PET tray recycling. As some non-PET trays have similar issues PRE will also develop guidelines for trays made of other plastics.

Biodegradable plastic bags are a myth – PRE says

“Biodegradable plastic bags are a myth" says Prof Richard Thomson, during a public hearing on plastic carrier bags organized by the by The Greens/European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament on February 19th. During the workshop Ton Emans, PRE President, confirmed that as little as 2% degradable material in the recycling stream is creating quality problems for recyclers.
According to PRE, the future in Europe is about developing quality plastics recyclates for producing new goods and not about down cycling and misleading the consumer about biodegradability and/or compostability of products in the environment (including marine environment). Reference was made to the EuPC study of last year where industrial scale tests were performed on PE films produced with recyclates. This independent study demonstrates the problems caused by degradable materials in the actual recycling streams.

Plastics Recycling Conference during INTERPACK

imagePRE – Plastics Recyclers Europe is organising an international conference to be held on 8 May during the INTERPACK fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. The conference will gather the worlds of plastics recyclers, plastics packaging producers, brand owners and EU policy makers. Representatives of European Commission and entrepreneurs will debate and discuss pressing issues within plastics packaging design and its recycling.
Today, products are very often designed without any real knowledge of their actual recyclability. However, design of a packaging has a detrimental impact on the recycling. Consequently, the first step in minimalizing a negative impact of a product on the environment shall be its design.
During the Recycling Conference in Düsseldorf Plastics Recyclers Europe will launch RecyClass, a platform for recyclability assessment, which is the key step in ensuring better recycling of plastic packaging. This tool will help packaging designers to find the correct way to approach and evaluate their new products.
The conference programme is available HERE. More information about this conference is available HERE.