An estimated 32% of all plastic ends up being dumped after just one use, reveals the 2016 New Plastics Economy report. The EU ban on single-use plastics will take effect in 2021. New, tougher requirements will also be introduced for producers of other plastic product categories. “The much-touted new legislation on single-use plastic products will not solve the huge recycling dilemma. Plastics are already a highly regulated product group. They have to be produced using REACH-compliant chemicals, and there is a staggering amount of legislation on recycling. If the EU directives on packaging were fully implemented in all European countries, there would be no need to dump any plastic at all at landfills,” says Vesa Kärhä, CEO of the Finnish Plastics Industries Federation. In Finland, the collection and recycling of consumer plastics is off to a slow start, but gradually catching up with Europe’s leaders, Switzerland and Sweden. “When you look at Europe’s leading recyclers, they have all observed a total ban on landfilling for a long time. In other words, they have totally outlawed a cheap landfill solution. The European plastic industry recommends the same, too. Naturally, it has to be carried out in a way that gives operators enough time to figure out what can be done about the issue. Recycling and energy plants have to be available,” Kärhä notes.
Heinzel Group is a member of the “4evergreen” alliance, which strives to increase the share of fiber-based packaging in order to sustainably reduce the impact on climate and the environment. In addition, the alliance aims to increase knowledge and raise awareness of the advantages of fiber-based materials in society. Among other things, the initiative advocates the development of optimized collection systems and appropriate recycling infrastructures.
Members of the “4evergeen” alliance are represented throughout the entire fiber-based packaging value chain: paper, board and packaging producers, technology and material suppliers, waste sorting and collection companies, and retailers.