There's currently a lot of talk about plastic and the use of plastic, particularly in food and drinks packaging. Many consumers are very "anti-plastic", and understandably so, considering the constant stream of images showing the extent of plastic in our oceans. It's becoming easy to forget the value that plastic brings, such as reducing food waste and essential uses in the medical industry. The issue isn’t around plastics itself; the real issue is about the disposal of plastics.
In this video, Helen Mcgeough, Senior Consultant - RPET at Wood Mackenzie Chemicals, discusses the challenge of re-educating consumers about the value of plastic and the benefits of a bottle deposit return scheme.
One of the key issues is that plastics, particularly in packaging applications, are incredibly efficient and cost-effective; finding an alternative solution is not easy.
A recent Wood Mackenzie article on Forbes
High demand for Recycled PET
Recycled PET is currently in high demand. This is part due to the limited availability of virgin PET, but is also driven by brand owners and consumers who want to see more recycled content used in packaging. One challenge for the RPET industry is whether or not they can supply enough material to meet that demand with slow growth in recovery rates of PET. Discussions about bottle deposit return schemes, like the one recently announced in the UK, can help meet that demand. Schemes like this can bring high recovery rates; up to 90% in some instances, and also bring the highest quality possible for use in the bottle to bottle market.
Helen discusses these trends and what it means for the RPET industry.