Accelerating circularity in the plastic industry involves creating a system where plastic never becomes waste. Instead, it is continuously reused, recycled, or composted, reducing the need for virgin plastic and minimizing environmental impact. Here are some strategies that could help accelerate circularity in the plastic industry:
- Promote Design for Recyclability: Encouraging manufacturers to design products and packaging for recyclability can significantly increase the volume of plastic that can be effectively recycled. This could involve using a single type of plastic in products, avoiding the use of dyes and additives that hinder recycling, and designing products to be easily disassembled1.
- Invest in Advanced Recycling Technologies: Investing in advanced recycling technologies, such as chemical recycling, can increase the range of plastic types that can be recycled and improve the quality of recycled plastic2.
- Strengthen Waste Collection and Sorting Systems: Improving waste collection and sorting systems can increase the volume and quality of plastic waste collected for recycling. This could involve expanding curbside collection services, implementing Deposit & Return Schemes (DRS), and investing in advanced sorting technologies3.
- Increase the Use of Recycled Plastic: Encouraging the use of recycled plastic in various industries can create a market for recycled plastic and make plastic recycling more economically viable. This could involve setting minimum recycled content requirements for certain products and packaging1.
- Educate and Engage Consumers: Educating consumers about the importance of recycling and how to recycle effectively can increase participation in recycling programs and improve the quality of the plastic waste collected. This could involve awareness campaigns, educational programs, and clear labeling of recyclable products4.
- Implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Schemes: EPR schemes, which require producers to take responsibility for the end-of-life management of their products, can incentivize producers to design products for recyclability and support the costs of waste management and recycling1.
By implementing these strategies, it is possible to accelerate circularity in the plastic industry, reducing the environmental impact of plastic and creating a more sustainable future.