WPO launches waste stream mapping guides for 21 countries

The World Packaging Organisation (WPO),in conjunction with FH Campus Wien University of Applied Sciences, Austria, Circular Analytics and ECR Community has launched the ‘Waste Stream Mapping Guides’ for 21 countries including Australia.

The ‘Waste Stream Mapping Guides’ is the second stage of the Global Packaging Design for Recycling Guide program.

The countries included are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.

According to Ernst Krottendorfer, co-managing partner of Circular Analytics, who was one of the key developers of the Global Packaging Design for Recycling Guide and the Waste Stream Mapping Tools, “design for recycling is part of a circular product design and represents an important basis for holistic sustainability assessment”. 

“Accordingly, circularity means that the packaging is designed in such a way that the highest possible recycling of the materials in use can be achieved. The goals here are resource conservation, the longest possible service life, material-identical recycling (closed-loop recycling) or the use of renewable materials,” he said.

“Circular Design is only effective when the relevant collection, sorting and recycling streams exist. From the mapping of the Waste Streams we can better determine technically recyclable packaging types in countries across the world.” 

The WPO vice-president for sustainability and save food Nerida Kelton added that “in order to be able to apply recyclable packaging design, a certain fundamental knowledge of sorting and recycling processes is necessary. Packaging must, therefore, be suitable for state-of-the-art sorting and recycling processes in addition to its basic functions (e.g., storage, transport, product protection, product presentation and convenience).”

“The Waste Stream Mapping Guides are essential global decision-making tools that will enable anyone to access current information on technically recyclable packaging across the world,” she said.

“They will help those involved in the development of packaging to not only plan in accordance with regional technical recyclability, but to also improve the design at the start to meet the regional requirements, or limitations, for collection, sorting, recovery and recyclability. Using these tools at the start of an NPD process will also bring significant opportunities to eliminate non-recyclable packaging before it is placed on the market.”

“The Waste Stream Mapping Guides also come with a ‘How to Use Guide’ for the Global Packaging Design for Recycling Guide so that they can be used hand-in-hand when packaging is being designed.

“These guides will also be extremely useful to assist companies who are exporting their products and are unsure as to what is technically recyclable, conditionally recyclable or non-recyclable in the country in which the product will be sold. This information will help them to meet the packaging design parameters for that country to ensure recyclability.”

The Country Waste Stream Mapping Guides and further information on how to use them is available from here.

The project team is currently working on the next round of Country Waste Stream Mapping Guides, which will also be made available in 2022.

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