This edition is again full of sustainability initiatives and developments from the recycling part of our value chain: TOMRA Recycling is expanding its range of international test centers for sorting waste and recyclable materials of all kinds. TOMRA Collection Solutions presents a “hungry” collection machine: the consumer can pour in a whole sack full of plastic containers instead of throwing them in one by one. Carbios has scaled its enzymatic recycling process to a commercial dimension. The European Patent Office reports that the EU and the US are leaders in filing patents in plastic recycling and bio-based plastic alternatives. Coca-Cola is working with partners to develop a new generation of plant-based MEG that is not based on sources that could also be food.
Many other developments in the direction of sustainability and the circular economy could be mentioned. It is impressive evidence of gamechanging commitment.
This is countered by the fact that in France plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables will be banned in the future. With this, France is implementing a law of February 2020. It will already apply from January 1, 2022.
What does the future look like for plastic packaging, if all the pioneering, sustainable commitment and technological developments fail to build trust and find acceptance within a reasonable period of time? In my opinion, time is becoming an increasingly critical factor, also given global requirements.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Otto Appel, PETnology/tecPET GmbH