A Roadmap Towards a Circular Plastics & Packaging Industry in Asia
The Latest Updates
On 01 January 2019 we included the Global Definition of ‘Plastics Recyclability’ into APPA.
This definition was issued by The Association of Plastic Recyclers and Plastics Recyclers Europe and we have included it into the APPA document. It states:
“Plastics must meet four conditions for a product to be considered recyclable:
1. The product must be made with a plastic that is collected for recycling, has market value and/or is supported by a legislatively mandated program.
2. The product must be sorted and aggregated into defined streams for recycling processes.
3. The product can be processed and reclaimed/recycled with commercial recycling processes.
4. The recycled plastic becomes a raw material that is used in the production of new products.”
About the Asian Plastics & Packaging Agreement
There is growing global momentum to tackle plastic and packaging waste and some solutions include setting long term targets by businesses to eliminate problematic single use plastics in the market. The Asian Plastics & Packaging Agreement (APPA) is supportive of some of these initiatives. However setting targets can only ever be part of the solution as most Asian countries require a broader framework to build their internal capacity towards a sustainable and circular plastics and packaging industry for the long term.
There will be two key fronts: (1) the physical investment into profitable reprocessing facilities and (2) human resource skills. These skills will include data analytics, IoT, plastic polymers and packaging types, materials and textiles, business development, waste management, waste auditing, food waste, recycling and collection systems, management of informal recycling collectors, marketing and branding, micro-financing and renewable energy. Additional expertise in sustainability, supply chain, reverse logistics and the circular economy will also be required.
Skills development lies at the heart of the Asian Plastics & Packaging Agreement, without it the long-term goals of a sustainable and circular plastics and packaging industry will be impossible to attain. Investors and financing of plastics and packaging reprocessing facilities will see less risk with a well educated workforce.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2018, industry leaders agreed on a Global Plastics Protocol setting commonly agreed definitions and industry standards on what materials are put into the marketplace, to ensure packaging is compatible with existing and cost-effective recycling infrastructures.
APPA is a document that can be adopted as is or reworded to suit each country’s requirements as long as there is agreement on the targets and requirement to build infrastructure and capacity within each Asian country. APPA aims to focus not just on targets but also solutions to reduce the use of plastics through innovative product sales delivery systems that fit the Asian retail environment. In addition we believe it is vital that companies are supported in this transition and consumers are included in the process through new labelling systems that clearly assist to improve recycling behaviours.