Keys to have a plastic industry commited to the enviroment
Despite being a relatively new material in our human history, plastics have become so important in our everyday lives that, no matter where you look, you will surely find a plastic device near you. Almost everything we use in our day-to-day life is made, entirely or partly, of plastic.
This plastics processing industry, paradoxically, has been attacked and demonised along the recent years. In fact, people seem to forget about its contribution to the evolution of our current society. Such contribution of the plastics industry to medicine, to the safety systems of buildings, to the automotive sector… has allowed to make great strides in every area. But very few know, however, about their commitment to safety and sustainability.
PLASTIC INDUSTRY, INCREASINGLY SUSTAINABLE
The plastics’ sector has assumed its responsibility for the care of the environment. The industry is fully committed to a new way of production, increasing the recycling of plastic packaging and the use of renewable resources.
This increase of recycling rates of plastic materials has, with no doubt, a direct impact on both, the use of fossil fuels and the dumping of plastic waste which minimises pollution of rivers and seas.
It is also important to raise awareness among our society about the importance of the good use of plastic and its environmental impact… Communication campaigns to show good practices, to give priority to the energy efficiency to eliminate energy waste, promotion of controls to ensure that products entering the EU comply with relevant regulations might be some means to work about.
In addition to all these actions, plastic packaging suppliers work as well to ensure responsible consumption of plastic packaging. We can also find some keys such as their activity in circular economy initiatives or the contribution to the dumping of recoverable waste in controlled landfills with the aim of increasing resource efficiency and recycling.
Research in plastics, raw materials and their treatment
Research and innovation in the plastics industry is of vital importance, not only to enable good social and economic development, but also to ensure an increasingly environmentally committed sector that faces the great problem of today’s world: climate change.
Constant innovation in plastic materials, in new raw materials and in their treatment by plastic packaging suppliers not only allows great technological advances, in medicine, surgery, biomechanical, automotive industry,… but it also facilitates the development of new and more sustainable raw materials, the creation of new biodegradable or highly recyclable plastic packaging, the growth of the recycling rate and the reduction of plastic waste that harms negatively our environment.
There is still a long way to go to achieve the complete reuse or recovery of plastic waste. Several projects are underway in all countries trying to provide viable solutions. Some of them choose the mechanical recycling where the plastic is washed, ground into powders and melted to obtain recycled plastic flakes from containers recovered at waste treatment plants and selective collection; others drive the use of biomaterials and try to find alternatives to single-use plastics; or lately others use chemical recycling, where the plastic is broken down into monomers for recycling plastic materials when mechanical recycling is not enough… They all have a common denominator: the commitment of industry in general, and plastic packaging suppliers, in particular, to society and the environment
Specialization of packaging industry professionals
To achieve an increasingly sustainable plastic packaging industry, the sector demands the need to adequately train their labour force through specific studies to have new professionals with an updated knowledge at all levels of the plastics industry. With such initiative they intend to enhance innovation and economic, technological, and sustainable development of the sector.
The plastics industry proposes to create specific studies on the manufacture, processing and recycling of plastics, and to encourage young people to study and specialize in this sector that so many positions demand.
Once again education stands as one of the essential pillars on which to work social commitment to the environment.
European regulatory framework and support for the plastics sector
In recent years, the EU has developed regulations and restrictions but has also implemented several supports for plastic packaging manufacturers and suppliers that have significantly helped the sustainable development of the sector.
With regards to legislation, the aim is to limit single-use plastics by setting excise taxes and restrictions, boosting the circular economy, improving waste management, and combating pollution.
Among other things, the new regulations have established that, by 2021, single-use plastics such as plates, cutlery, straws and plastic sticks will have to disappear, considering also the ‘polluter pays’ principle, the commonly accepted practice that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment, aiming to reach 90% of plastic bottles collected by 2029.
RESPONSIBLE PLASTIC PACKAGING SUPPLIERS
At Alcion, we want to stay being responsible plastic suppliers, so we produce our packaging safely and sustainably, orienting our processes to the circular economy, enhancing the work of our R+D+I and Quality-Environment departments, making sure people are collaborating together at the same time.
Every day we continue to evolve, generating a sustainable value chain, controlling our environmental impact, developing a team of committed people and collaborating with the social development of the community.
For an industry with responsible and committed plastic packaging suppliers