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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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Concluding Remarks

Plastic packaging waste has similar compositions in several Nordic countries and there are many common challenges. The work carried out in this project has assisted in harmonising the guidelines across the regions so that producers are able to implement best practices in an efficient manner. The waste streams are very similar, so it makes sense to work together instead of trying to solve the same problem separately. Although there are no concrete changes that can be demonstrated in the other countries already, the work achieved in Norway has given insight to the other countries on how we have communicated with producers and worked with them to assist them in achieving packaging products that are fully sortable and recyclable.

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