Plastic packaging remains an integral part of the global economy. However, currently the vast majority of packaging products still include materials that make recycling impossible or very difficult, resulting in large quantities of plastic ending up in nature. Our workstream is working to align a critical mass of companies behind common packaging design principles and guidelines for flexible and rigid materials, leading the industry in best practices and improving the recyclability of plastic across the wider sector.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes are a policy tool which aim to hold producers accountable for the end-of-life impact of their plastic products and packaging. Around the globe, many governments and policy makers are rolling out EPR schemes, often resulting in duplication and misalignment. Our workstream is working to help governments to understand the industry view and promote harmonisation by aligning on a set of principles for optimal and fair EPR schemes.
In recent years chemical recycling has emerged as a potential solution to the issues surrounding end-of-life disposal of plastics, which could effectively compliment mechanical recycling in achieving a circular economy. Our workstream plans to scale up chemical recycling, especially for flexible packaging, and also engage with key stakeholders to ensure broad support and send a strong demand signal to investors and upstream suppliers.
Country-specific workstreams will be developed in mature and transitional markets to enable the implementation of optimal waste management systems on the ground. This commitment will include launching national-level pilots to test the combination of different collection models to optimise recycling systems. The ultimate goal will be to ensure no plastic leaks into nature while promoting safety and equity for both formal and informal waste workers. The workstreams will operate in close collaboration with local organisations, initiatives and stakeholders to ensure that relevant and specific actions are adapted to their local contexts. Future pilots are intended to accelerate collaboration efforts between the retail/manufacturer sector and local governments.