BRUSSELS, Sept. 3, 2020 (PPI Europe) -Germany’s central packaging register Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (ZSVR) has raised the alarm over a new challenge posed by the current plastic debate. According to the organization, composite packaging made from paper and plastics has seen a disproportionate rise and is causing difficulties for the recycling process.
“Unfortunately, there is a current tendency towards the use of packaging that – in the best case – can only be partially recovered,” the ZSVR said in a statement this week. It added that the debate about plastics, the Single-Use Plastics Directive and a European plastic tax are all pushing the waste hierarchy, which includes waste prevention and recovery, into the background and have given rise to a rapid increase in the use of fiber-based packaging with a plastic share.
“The trend towards composite packaging is at the expense of recycling,” ZSVR chair Gunda Rachut noted. According to her, recycling becomes limited as soon as a plastic coating is applied to packaging that mainly consists of paper. “From an ecological point of view, there is a clear preference for recyclable packaging options made from monomaterials. In addition, recovery capacities and recovery products for fiber-based packaging with a plastic share are clearly limited,” Rachut added.
The ZSVR was founded by the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries, the German Retail Association, the German Plastics Association and the German Trade Mark Association. Since Germany’s new Packaging Act entered into force in January last year, the ZSVR has served to foster greater transparency and control in packaging recycling. To this end, the organization maintains a register of all industrial and commercial companies under legal obligation, reconciles volumes between producers and systems and provides for more recycling-friendly design by setting standards.