Second lives of plastic packaging: lessons learned
The Plastic Packaging Waste as Raw Material (KVG) program presents a bundling of learning experiences that were acquired during the fifteen pilot projects in October 2018 - November 2019: Second lives of plastic packaging: lessons learned.
This document bundles a number of important learning experiences that were acquired during the fifteen pilot projects that are part of the Plastic Packaging Waste as Raw Material (KVG) programme. The purpose of the document is to share these lessons learned. This way, organisations that want to use recyclate can learn from this and apply it in their own practice and subsequent innovation projects.
The KVG programme promotes a second life of household plastic packaging waste in products. By better matching supply and demand of recycled plastics, we will reduce the use of primary raw materials. This will bring us closer to achieving the ambition of the Transition Agenda for Plastics and the Sustainable Development Goals and thus closer to a circular economy.
Exploration demand side of plastic recyclate
In the run-up to the start of the pilot projects, an exploration was conducted to gain more and better insight into the demand side of the plastic recyclate market, both in terms of application possibilities and market development1. The infographic below is a simplified presentation of the recycling chain of plastic packaging with its main bottlenecks, chances for improvement and promising markets (a thicker arrow implies very promising) for the use of recyclate.
Analysis of supply and demand of recyclate from plastic packaging waste, an overview of bottlenecks and the markets
1 Kort M., Haffmans S., (2018). Exploration of 'Plastic Packaging Waste as Raw Material' Technical and Economic Analysis (Verkenning 'Kunststof Verpakkingsafval als Grondstof', Technische en Economische Analyse'). Available in Dutch on https://kunststofhergebruiken.nl/kvg/rapporten/
The registrations were assessed by an independent selection committee to arrive at fifteen pilot projects that, with the help of a financial contribution, started to work on various aspects of the use of plastic recyclate from housegold packaging waste. The pilot projects were carried out within a one-year period, from October 2018 until November 2019.
Eight learning experiences have emerged multiple times and may be relevant to other pilots:
- Be prepared to invest in each other as pilot partners from the outset.
- Form a consortium representing the various links in the chain.
- Create a sense of responsibility among all chain parties.
- Prepare your internal organisation to innovate with and learn from the use of recycled plastic.
- As a purchasing party, do not consider recyclate as second-hand virgin plastic, but regard it as another material with its own identity.
- As a purchasing party, be prepared to investigate the Statement of Requirements for the purchase of recyclate with the recycler.
- Cleary highlight the advantage that an innovation with recyclate offers, in the market that you enter.
- Start with sustainable innovation and learn as you develop!
After reading the learning experiences, have you grown curious about the stories from the pilots behind them? Or do you want to get started with using household plastic packaging waste in new products? If so, this bundle will be a useful reference work with learning experiences for pilot projects, per development phase. You can find all the end results of the programme at www.kunststofhergebruiken.nl (in Dutch) and the publications 'Second lives of plastic packaging: lessons learned', plus factsheets of the fifteen pilots, in English.
The Plastic Packaging Waste as Raw Material (KVG) program was carried out by Rijkswaterstaat and the Knowledge Institute of Sustainable Packaging (KIDV). The program is funded by Stichting Afvalfonds. The purchasing pilots have been supported by MVO Nederland/De Groene Zaak, the innovation pilots by Polymer Science Park (PSP).
You can find more information about the program on kunststofhergebruiken.nl (in Dutch).