Packaging Companies Pursuing 2020 Roadmap to Circular Economy

A consortium of companies and organizations that collaborate to enhance the performance of flexible packaging in Europe’s circular economy has announced that its stakeholder participation now exceeds over 100 companies, two years after its launch in 2017. CEFLEX advances system design solutions through collaboration of companies along the packaging value chain.

The ‘CEFLEX Vision’ is a comprehensive sustainability and circular economy roadmap for flexible packaging in Europe by 2020, including design guidelines and an approach to measure, demonstrate and communicate the value of flexible packaging for the circular economy. The roadmap will address resource efficiency, waste prevention benefits, elimination of leakage, and sustainably returning recycled flexible packaging materials to supply identified end markets. By 2025, CEFLEX aims to support establishment of collection, sorting and reprocessing infrastructure/economy across Europe for flexible packaging, using end-of-life technologies and processes, to deliver the best economic and environmental outcome for a circular economy.

The collaboration is hoped to result in more and better recycling of plastic packaging.

The CEFLEX consortium launched in January 2017 with 26 stakeholders. Recent companies to join the consortium include Herbold Meckesheim, a plastics recycling machine supplier, and RPC-bpi group, an international flexible packaging provider. Graham Houlder, CEFLEX, observed that other companies from outside Europe are also starting to recognize the circular economy “as the way forward for the plastic packaging industry.” Companies in India and Thailand are among those to recently join the consortium.

RPC-bpi group CEO Andrew Green said his company views “full value chain initiatives like CEFLEX as being vital to developing and agreeing a common vision for how our industry creates and realizes a circular economy for flexible packaging.” Werner Herbold of Herbold Meckesheim expressed hope that collaboration across the value chain through CEFLEX will contribute to “accelerated growth in our sector,” and development of new and innovative solutions to “enable more and better recycling of plastic packaging.”

CEFLEX is anticipated to contribute to a global effort towards a circular economy as part of SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production). SDG target 12.5 aims to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse, and SDG target 12.6 encourages companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle, among other relevant targets.

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