Since 2005, we’ve seen a 74% increase in the amount of post-consumer film (including plastic bags and packaging) that has been recovered for recycling. In 2013, 1.14 billion pounds were recovered, according to the American Chemistry Council.
Still in its infancy, though, the recycling structure for flexible packaging materials got a boost this fall with the announcement of a new research project called “Materials Recovery for the Future.” A diverse group of stakeholders—brand owners, material manufacturers and packaging industry organizations—will study recovery solutions to help divert films, pouches and bags from the landfill.
According to the press release announcement, “This research effort represents a first step in what will be a series of projects aimed at creating a mainstream recovery solution for flexible packaging. Results are expected to be published in the second quarter of 2016.”
Project sponsors include The Dow Chemical Co., PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé Purina PetCare and Nestlé USA, Sealed Air, and SC Johnson, as well as the Assn. for Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR), the Flexible Packaging Assn. (FPA), and SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Assn. (SPI).