Packaging and Sustainability

Criteria for chemical recycling

Chemical recycling is currently a much-discussed topic in the context of packaging and the circular economy. The AGVU, which represents all packaging materials and the entire packaging value chain, is now formulating core theses on chemical recycling:

  • Chemical recycling can be a complement to mechanical recycling processes, whereby mechanical recycling should be prioritised:
    • Chemical recycling should only use materials that cannot be mechanically recycled.
    • The use of chemical recycling should not hinder mechanical recycling and its continuous development.
    • Design-for-recycling criteria for packaging should relate to mechanical recycling.
  • The complex interrelationships between input and output in chemical recycling suggest the application of a balancing procedure. In principle, the production of fuels should not be considered recycling (“fuel exempt”). In addition, balancing procedures that consumers cannot clearly understand should be viewed critically.
  • The traceability of the proportion of recycled material and the ecological advantages of chemical recycling processes should be at the centre of the assessment.
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Fewer bans, More recycling

The European Parliament has finalised its position on the draft EU packaging regulation. The AGVU welcomes the tightening of packaging bans, but sees a need for a better definition of the recyclability of packaging.

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