Design for Recycling is emerging as one of the key solutions. Companies know that they need to rethink their manufacturing processes to reduce their environmental impact. These issues have become a central concern in their new product design strategies, as well as in the eyes of consumers.
In addition, laws relating to packaging are changing fast. Governments are giving strong incentives for companies to innovate and anticipate the end-of-life of their products. In Europe, for example, the June 2019 directive on single-use plastics aims to ensure that all packaging is recyclable and incorporates a minimum level of recycled raw material. Brand owners are realizing that Design for Recycling has become an important area for value-creation and are investing more and more into its development.
Before products can be recycled, they must first be collected and then sorted in sorting centers (MRF), which are the first point of contact for recycling. As a supplier of intelligent sorting solutions for waste processing, Pellenc ST has a key position in the value chain and benefits from an overview of all the channels for recovering materials. Pellenc ST works closely with a green dot -organizations, brand owners, and designers of packaging, coloring agents, and additives around the world.
To accelerate the development of the circular economy and further support those partners, Pellenc ST is innovating and creating a dedicated Design for Recycling unit in 2021. The role of that unit is to meet the specific needs of packaging producers. The team helps such producers develop test protocols and shares its business expertise through diagnostics and recommendations for improvements. Furthermore, the Pellenc ST Test Center, which is equipped with the latest technology, is available to validate the “sortability” of the packaging in the real-life conditions of an MRF.
This approach allows Pellenc ST to stay abreast of market developments, anticipate the arrival of new materials, and take those materials into account in its technological roadmap. For example, Pellenc ST was involved from the outset in validating the sortability of dark packaging without carbon black. The tests conducted at the Test Centre made it possible to propose improvements to the COTREP regulating body, which incorporated them into its approval protocol for black packaging.
Lastly, Pellenc ST is developing close partnerships with technical centers and research laboratories specializing in each of the major materials sectors. That collaboration makes it possible to carry out recyclability tests and provide packaging manufacturers with a general overview of the end-of-life of their products.