After being used for just a short time, single use plastics are thrown away, generating a huge amount of unnecessary waste. To demonstrate new production and consumption patterns with high-level reuse and recycling, the Collaborative Actions for Single-Use Plastic Prevention in South-East Asia (CAP SEA) project is engaging Southeast Asian policy makers and businesses in discussions on how this could be done through a Dialogue Series that runs from September 2021 until February 2022.
The first of six online sessions on “Upstream Policies and Business Cases for Single-Use Plastic Prevention” was held on 17 September and attracted more than 160 participants from all over the world. Under the title “Recycled Content in Plastic Packaging Applications: Regulations, Standards and Experiences from Europe and Southeast Asia“, the session discussed how to increase recycled content in plastic packaging applications and shared good practices on regulation, standards and business models that foster the utilization of recycled content.
Among the speakers was a manufacturing company Werner & Mertz GmbH who showcased how brand name packaging can be produced with used materials. Together with its industry partners, Werner & Mertz developed an innovative process to obtain high-quality recycled material (recyclates, or recycled plastic) from plastic waste. The result: Most of its “Frosch”-brand bottles are made of up to 100 % used plastic.
“What we are doing is not for the laboratory or for a niche or for a limited edition. We have already sold over 5 million bottles made out of 100% recycled content”, Timothy Glaz, a representative from Werner & Mertz, stated.
Another speaker was Isnazunita Ismail, General Manager of the Environmental Technology Research Centre SIRIM Berhad, Malaysia, on the halal certification scheme. She explained that manufacturing facilities are aiming to use recycled materials for packaging in an attempt to contribute towards environmental sustainability as well as to lower their production costs. However, the implementation is complex in Muslim countries like Malaysia, as the traceability of the recycled material is important to determine if the product is Halal or not. One possible option is the introduction of the “Sertu programme” (Halal washing method) as part of the Corrective Action in the Halal Assurance System. As a first step, SIRIM has proposed the revision of the Malaysian Standard 2738 on halal consumable goods this year.
Other speakers sharing their industry experiences and business cases were Siam Cement Group (SCG) a Thailand-based company, APCO (Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation) and DIN CERTCO Gesellschaft für Konformitätsbewertung mbH.
“The objective of the dialogue series is to bring together experts and practitioners passionate about increasing circularity in plastics and preventing the proliferation of single-use plastics,” Collaborative Action to Reduce Single-Use Plastic in Southeast Asia (CAP SEA) Project Manager Christoffer Brick emphasized in his opening speech. In Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, CAP SEA addresses the plastic crisis through the adoption of upstream policy approaches such as re-use, recycled content targets, design for recycling and ecodesign. The project is being implemented as part of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)’s “Export Initiative Green Technologies”.
Prior to each Dialogue Series, a publication by the Öko-Institut, a leading environmental research institute, is published. To read the pre-studies on “Recycled Content in Plastic Packaging Applications, click here.
Participation in the dialogue series
Interested in participating in the dialogue series? Here you will find an overview of upcoming events and the opportunity to register free of charge. The dialogue series is held in English and simultaneously translated into Thai and Bahasa. The next online session on “Design for Recycling: State of Play, Guidelines and Options for Action” will take place on 14 October. Details can be found here.
Dialogue Series Titles
Recycled Content in Plastic Packaging Applications:Regulations, standards and experiences from Europe and Southeast Asia
17 September 2021
Design for Recycling: State of Play, Guidelines and Options for Action
14 October 2021
Corporates’ Insights on LCA-based Choices for Reducing the Environmental Impact of Packaging
10 November 2021
Biobased and Biodegradable Plastics
8 December 2021
Economic and Fiscal Measures to Reduce Packaging Waste: Taxes and Incentives
20 January 2022
The Role and Scope of Municipalities in Preventing and Reducing Single-use Plastics: Learning from International Experiences