Closing the Loop for Flexible Packaging
CEFLEX is a collaborative initiative representing 160 members across the entire value chain of flexible packaging. Their mission is to close the loop for flexible packaging in Europe by 2025.
The EU uses 4 million (and growing) tons of flexible food packaging per year. In 2018, the EU set a target of 55% recycling by 2025 - meaning a dramatically increased share of recycled content also for packaging, this would require a significantly increased use of recycled content, estimated at almost 50% for PET and ~30% for PE and PP. To reach the 55% target, sorting capacity will need to increase by a factor of 2.6 and recycling by almost a factor of five. The EU recycling targets are very ambitious for some member states, less so for others. Today, flexible packaging is generally less recycled than other packaging, in many countries recycling of flexibles is not yet taking place at all.
In this project, we supported the CEFLEX Consortium on their mission to further enhance the performance of flexible packaging in the circular economy by designing and advancing better system solutions identified through the collaboration of companies representing the entire value chain. Furthermore, we identified barriers for recycling to a level of detail where they can be resolved. Ultimately, we created a success case for transforming an entire value chain and derived best practices as a much-needed blueprint for action. The goal is to establish a blueprint and transfer this knowledge to other value chains. Observations on the dynamics in the value chain, barriers, and contested issues can be found in the project report below.