The professional representative body of plastics recyclers Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) has announced plans to develop recycling guidelines to enable the value chain to assess the recyclability of PET trays and move towards recyclable products.
At present, PET trays are not sorted separately and are not recycled. PRE is looking at adding separate sorting streams to enable recycling, and also plans to develop guidelines for trays that are made out of other plastics that have similar issues to the PET trays.
PRE says that the packaging industry has witnessed a significant increase in the use of PET trays in recent years, which has not been adequately addressed by end-of-life solutions.
Due to their composition of multi-layers, multi-material combinations and mixed plastics, PET recyclers are not in a position to handle the PET trays, and recyclers are avoiding them because of their incompatibility with polyolefins.
PRE believes that to change the market reality, action must occur at the product's design stage. Even though all trays have an important packaging function, they should adapt to recyclability requirements in order to grow in the years to come.
Image: PRE plans to develop guidelines for trays made of other plastics. Photo: courtesy of SOMMAI / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.