Circular economy

Reuse instead of waste

Around 2.3 billion tons of waste are produced every year in the EU alone – primarily in the construction, mining and industrial sectors. This includes a lot of packaging waste, almost 180 kilograms per EU inhabitant, less than half of which is recycled. So, there is still a lot a lot of work to be done to scale up circular economy systems. Our video highlights some of the starting points in the packaging sector and beyond.

Challenge of composite packaging

Many goods – especially in the food sector – can only be sold packaged. In addition to well-functioning reusable systems, many countries also have single-use systems with high recycling rates, especially for beverages. The recycling of valuable raw materials always works particularly well when packaging is made of a single material, such as PET bottles or drinks cans. It’s more difficult with composite materials. This requires new approaches – a huge change process for the industry.

Prepared for the new packaging regulation

The European Union has long recognized that the packaging problem is also a resource and waste problem. A new packaging regulation designed to expand the circular economy is in the concrete planning stage and is expected to be adopted by the European Parliament in the near future. TÜV SÜD is actively supporting this development and also continuously developing its laboratory methods for materials testing with the new regulation in mind. There are around 20 testing and certification procedures already available for all the relevant processes relating to the circular economy. These are good prerequisites for enabling more and more materials to be recycled in the future.

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