The recycling of packaging, and particularly food packaging, is at the heart of the circular economy. Much so-called "complex" packaging cannot be recycled, sometimes due to the lack of efficient collection systems.
What if these questions were considered at the packaging design stage? This is the idea behind the SUEZ.CircPack® solution, which aims to ensure circularity is part of the packaging design process. Launched in January 2019, this commercial offering is based on SUEZ's expertise in waste treatment and recovery and aims to help brands and producers improve the recyclability of their packaging.
SUEZ.CircPack® relies on a precise methodology and offers a complete solution tailored to each client's specific needs based around four services:
(1) Discover: workshops and site visits to understand the challenges of packaging recycling;
(2) Explore: an analysis of the client's range based on laboratory research and tailored operational tests to evaluate the packaging's recyclability and develop solutions to increase its circularity;
(3) Co-create: designing packaging that meets the new recycling requirements in collaboration with the client;
(4) Certify: a packaging recyclability certificate based on compliance with a number of criteria. To be certified by SUEZ.CircPack®, the packaging must achieve a score of 50% or more and meet requirements for collection, sorting, transformation and reuse. Each packaging starts with a score of 100%. In each stage of the process, this rating is maintained or downgraded based on specific requirements: the availability of a collection system, the ability to sort it, the quality of the raw material obtained after recycling, the presence of a final market for this new product, etc. With this solution, SUEZ.CircPack® aims to drive major change in an industry that is looking for clearer recycling standards.
Since its launch, eleven open workshops have already been organised in Germany and the Netherlands, with nearly 65 attendees from 30 different companies (Danone, Kellogg's, etc.). The first design for recyclability packaging circpack certificate was awarded to REN Clean Skincare (Unilever Group) for its 99.78% recyclability sun protection packaging (Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30). Other brands within the Unilever company have also initiated this certification process for their ketchup and mayonnaise bottles.
This article was published in the seventh issue of open_resource magazine: "Sustainable food, sustainable planet"