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Plastic Packaging Recyclability in a Nordic context

image of Plastic Packaging Recyclability in a Nordic context

Tests of plastic packaging in Finland and Norway exposed products that are lost in the sorting process and are not recycled. Products that proved challenging to sort or recycle were then presented to their producers. To assist producers in making favourable decisions, fact sheets with design guidelines were developed for common plastics, HDPE, PP, LDPE and bio-based and biodegradable plastics, to highlight which design choices best help improve recyclability. These also include Norway-specific information on the downstream value chain for plastics. Producers have shown a willingness to improve their products to increase the level of recyclability. These developments show how higher recycling rates of plastic packaging can be achieved by supporting Nordic producers in implementing design for recyclability principles when designing their packaging.

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Methodology

With several partners in 4 countries, this was a challenging project to organise. Establishing good cooperation and communication with companies in other countries and executing the tests took time. This was due to a number of reasons, one of them being that Iceland was starting a new contract with a new sorting centre. This meant that the plastic packaging was going to be shipped elsewhere, and at a new sorting centre, it takes time to create normal sorting conditions. The plastic packaging must undergo tests to optimise the sorting. Tests of the Icelandic packaging were therefore postponed, and, in the end, it was not possible to complete a test within the time frame given.

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