PACKAGING RECYCLING AUSTRIA
Platform launched to promote packaging debate / Focus on circular economy
Seven representatives of the Austrian packaging value chain, including plastic packaging companies Greiner (GPI; Kremsmünster / Austria; www.greiner-gpi.com) and Alpla (Hard / Austria; www.alpla.com), have launched a joint platform to promote debate about packaging and a circular economy. The aim of the platform, named “Verpackung mit Zukunft” (www.verpackungmitzukunft.at), or packaging with a future, is to objectify the debate and create more awareness and dialogue about the reasonable use of packaging or the avoidance of packaging, the companies said. This will involve a constructive dialogue with the various stakeholders involved in the packaging discussion, including NGOs, politicians, scientists and consumers.

The “Verpackung mit Zukunft” (packaging with a future) platform is aiming to promote objective dialogue (Image: Verpackung mit Zukunft)
“We are sure that we can achieve more together in order to bring objectivity into the packaging discussion,” said Axel Kühner, Greiner’s CEO. The other five founding members of the platform are plastics machinery manufacturer Engel Austria (Schwertberg; www.engelglobal.com), recycling machinery maker Erema (Ansfelden / Austria; www.erema.com), food and beverages group Nestlé Austria, Coca-Cola Austria and environmental services provider Interseroh Austria. The seven companies together employ more than 40,000 people and generate a turnover of more than EUR 9 bn.

In the current crisis, important qualities of packaging – transport protection, longer shelf life of food as well as hygiene – have become more visible, noted Angela Teml, head of corporate communications at Nestlé Austria.

The companies said they founded the platform at the end of 2019 but have now made the decision to make it publicly visible. “We want to position Austria as a model country in terms of packaging sustainability in packaging and be a mouthpiece for these efforts,” commented Alpla CEO Günther Lehner. Sustainability and a resource-saving use of packaging will be the main focus, including optimising recyclability and the use of recycled products.

Planned activities on the platform include a digital panel discussion about food waste with political actors, scientists and NGOs. Other topics that platform members intend to raise with politicians include the introduction of uniform collection systems, especially for the “Gelber Sack” (yellow bag for plastics waste), improving the infrastructure for separation, collection, sorting and recycling as well as the promotion of packaging solutions that are 100% reusable, recyclable or recoverable.

Even if packaging collection continues to grow in Austria, the country would have to double its recycling of plastic packaging in the next five years in order to achieve the EU targets (see Plasteurope.com of 10.01.2020).
20.05.2020 Plasteurope.com [245088-0]
Published on 20.05.2020
Verpackungsrecycling: Startschuss für Plattform „Verpackung mit Zukunft“German version of this article...

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