Latest report “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics” launched

19 January 2016

New report offers blueprint to design a circular future for plastics

Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could transform the plastics economy and drastically reduce negative externalities such as leakage into oceans, according to the Foundation’s latest report produced in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, with analytical support from McKinsey & Company.

The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics provides for the first time a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed. The report, financially supported by the MAVA Foundation, was produced as part of Project MainStream, a global, multi-industry initiative that aims to accelerate business-driven innovations to help scale the circular economy.

“Linear models of production and consumption are increasingly challenged by the context within which they operate – and this is particularly true for high volume, low value materials such as plastic packaging. By demonstrating how circular economy principles can be applied to global plastic flows, this report provides a model for achieving the systemic shift our economy needs to make in order to work in the long term.”

Ellen MacArthur

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QCP participated and was specifically mentioned on page 58.

“Cleaning technologies. To retain as much value and quality as possible in each mechanical recycling step, intensive cleaning and granular post-sorting steps are required. Recyclers such as Quality Circular Polymers144 (QCP) is undertaking recycling activities that focus solely on high-quality end products. QCP has invested in more, more advanced, and more expensive cleaning technology in order to produce highquality, high-value recycled PP and PE. Another option would be to go even further and aim for food-grade-approved recycled polyolefins. Huub Meessen, CEO of QCP, stresses the importance of high-quality recyclates: ‘We can only reach a true circular economy for polymers if waste management companies and recyclers invest and innovate in quality. And by doing so, enabling brand owners and plastics convertors to replace “virgin” polymers by circular polymers, also for high-end applications. Higher prices for these products will make up for the extra investments in quality’.145 These quality improvements would, of course, be facilitated by the design and sorting levers already mentioned.”

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