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French plastic packaging manufacturers mobilise to extend sorting and recycling

Environment was one of the highlights of ELIPSO’s last annual general meeting. ELIPSO is the organisation representing plastic and flexible packaging manufacturers in France.

Actually, since 2008 ELIPSO has aligned its strategy and actions on the laws arising from the Grenelle environmental consultation. First of all, prevention, particularly through weight reduction, is the primary criterion for environmental efficiency. As for recycling, it is a major orientation for ELIPSO’s policy.

Our industry has mobilised to analyse the overall environmental impact of our packaging in all circumstances. Lifecycle Analysis is the benchmark tool and its use is set to grow. In a few words, our policy at ELIPSO and our action should lead us to: keep up our actions on packaging weight reduction; recycle as many of our packs as possible; and recover energy from anything that cannot be recycled for technical reasons. Whatever the case, using landfills is not the solution,” said the trade organisation in a release.

Photo :  P. Desgrieux / Photothèque Eco-Emballages

Photo : P. Desgrieux / Photothèque Eco-Emballages

In this context, Valorplast, of which ELIPSO and with PlasticsEurope (trade organisation representing plastics producers) have been shareholders for 20 years, is currently answering a call for projects by Eco-Emballages and Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency). The new industrial project will focus on the production of various plastic packaging streams (films and bottles, mixed with jars and trays) in the sorting centre, with the aim of recycling each resin (PET-PE-PP-PS-PVC) separately.

Since 1992, household plastic packaging collection in France has concerned bottles (PET, HDPE, PP), which represent almost 40% of all the household plastic packaging marketed every year. “Today one in two plastic bottles are sorted and an effective recycling industry has been developed in France,” said ELIPSO.

In March 2012, Eco-Emballages launched an experiment with 51 pilot local authorities. 3.7 million inhabitants will take part by sorting all their household plastic waste. The experiment will enable Eco-Emballages to study separation processes and develop recycling techniques for all plastic packaging.

The recycling rate of household plastic packaging has grown sharply en France, doubling in 10 years to reach 23.5% in 2010. The development of outlets for recycled plastic will increase the recycling habit and so increase that rate to around 35% in time.

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