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WPO launches latest Sustainability Perspectives position paper

WPO launches latest Sustainability Perspectives position paper

The WPO (World Packaging Organisation) has announced that the new Position Paper ‘Sustainability Perspectives across the Globe’ is available for free on their website.

“Looking through the lens of WPO members, sustainability is ever-evolving, dynamic and in a flux of change”, states Nerida Kelton, WPO vice president of Sustainability & Save Food.

She explains the document is the result of recent discussions among 21 countries, WPO members (Finland, Austria, Italy, Poland, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, United States of America, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Israel, India, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand), about the latest trends, barriers, challenges and initiatives within their country and region.

“What is interesting is that the sentiment is the same in every corner of the globe. Whilst a lot is happening in circular and sustainable design, a lot more needs to be done to realistically be able to meet packaging and waste targets globally, regionally and locally,” adds Kelton.

“The common themes are designing out waste at the start, eliminating problematic materials, phasing out single use plastics, incorporating more recycled content into products, and ensuring that the materials and packaging that is put out into the market is in fact capable of being collected, sorted, recycled, reprocessed and put back into other solutions.”

Key initiatives and programs that are being developed across the WPO member countries include:

  1. Moving soft plastics and flexible packaging to mono material formats that can be recycled and/or reprocessed through Advanced Recycling facilities, Kerbside collection or Return to Store programs.
  2. Developing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations.
  3. Establishing Plastics Pacts and roadmaps for the country or region.
  4. Creating Deposit Return Schemes/Container Deposit Schemes.
  5. Building facilities for recycled content.
  6. Establishing Single Use Plastics (SUP) Regulations.
  7. Improving Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) capabilities and technologies.
  8. Building Advanced/Chemical Recycling facilities.
  9. Developing Consumer Education for Recycling.
  10. Creating on-pack labelling programs to help guide consumers to recycle correctly.

“With so much happening across the world, WPO offers a unique platform to be able to bring developed and developing countries together, in one room, to regularly and openly discuss what is happening globally, regionally and locally,” celebrates Prof Pierre Pienaar, CPP, WPO president.

According to Pienaar ,“The Sustainability & Save Food working group is a strong and passionate team of packaging experts from across the world who are all working towards circular design.

“The group learns from one another, and we hope that members take some of the ideas and programs back to their own country to implement. WPO recognises that no country can do this by themselves. By sharing knowledge, on not only the positive sides of sustainability, will enable all of us to have a clearer view on what needs to be done in our own regions to meet global, regional and local packaging and waste targets.”

“Everyone has a role to play to ensure that packaging is being designed to provide the lowest environmental impacts wherever possible and that the materials and formats are fit-for-purpose, functional and truly capable of being collected, sorted, recycled and reprocessed in the country that it is sold in”, ends Kelton.

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