Cologne/Frankfurt. At today's “Future Resources 2019” conference, about 150 experts from the retail trade, the consumer goods industry and the recycling industry made a clear stand: against wasting resources and in favour of a consistent responsibility on the part of manufacturers for packaging. “The continued high level of interest in the event jointly hosted by Interseroh and the German Packaging Institute (dvi) demonstrates the extent to which all of those involved in the packaging loop consider this topic to be of concern,” explained Markus Müller-Drexel, Managing Director of INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH. “At the same time, the best practice examples which were presented underscore the fact that a sustainable design of packaging is possible when manufacturers, retailers and recycling companies work together.”
To return plastic packaging – which is currently the subject of much discussion – to the loop as a raw material after it has been used, political leaders will have to reconsider their restrictive regulations, however. In addition to the standard appropriate to foodstuffs, a quality standard for cosmetics and personal care products as well as a third standard for cleaning agents will be necessary in the interests of significantly strengthening the sales markets for recyclates, explained Müller-Drexel.
Gunda Rachut, Executive Director of the Central Agency Packaging Register (Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister), agrees with this requirement. “As of now, all manufacturers are requested to put their packaging to the test with a view to prevention, design for recycling and the use of recyclates. Only in this way will it be possible to avoid the need for new legislative measures,” explained Rachut at the discussion forum in Frankfurt. To encourage the use of recyclates, a full package of measures would be necessary, including a further standardisation with the use of new standards.
groku Kunststoffe GmbH is one of the companies playing a pioneering role in the introduction of recyclable plastic packaging. The company specialises in the production of plastic buckets for the food and non-food sectors, and several years ago launched a fully recyclable paint bucket made from 100 percent post-consumer recyclate. In comparison with conventional containers, the packaging achieves a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. “The current debate surrounding plastics is finally putting the topic of recycled packaging in the spotlight,” explained Henrik Großekämper, Managing Director of groku Kunststoffe GmbH. “This is also a great opportunity to increase the acceptance for recyclates over the long term.” The company Schur Flexibles Germany GmbH has shown how it is possible to design packaging for meat and cheese products which is also recyclable. “By changing our strategy, we have succeeded in combining the attributes of product production, processing capacity, handling and logistics which are all key requirements for food packaging with recycling capability,” explained Max Wolfmaier, Manager Sustainability at Schur Flexibles Germany GmbH.
“The Future Resources event has once again fulfilled its aspirations. This is because it highlights exemplary approaches and solutions to which the entire industry is able to adapt to achieve a rapid transition from the resource-intensive production of packaging to a climate- and recycling-friendly loop economy, summarised Winfried Batzke, Managing Director of the German Packaging Institute e. V. (dvi).
Further information: www.future-resources.de
About the Deutsches Verpackungsinstitut e.V. (dvi):
The Deutsches Verpackungsinstitut e.V. (dvi) (German Packaging Institute) is the only network for the packaging industry to bring together companies from every stage of the value chain. The dvi supports the transfer of knowledge and promotes discussions between more than 230 companies, institutions and partners. The dvi is a platform for information, insights, inspiration and discussions surrounding the topic of packaging.
Further information about the dvi is available at www.verpackung.org.