APIP, actively committed to reconciling environmental preservation and resource efficiency with the development of the sector it represents, recognises the circular economy and sustainability as being two axes of strategic intervention in its activity.
What is the circular economy?
It’s taking nature into consideration.
These principles are embodied in various actions, among which the National Pact of the Plastics Industry for Circular Economy and Environmental Sustainability stands out, institutionally supported by APA (Portuguese Environmental Agency) and DGAE (Directorate-General for Economic Activities), and of which we highlight the following initiatives, which are presented in more detail below:
• Implementation of the Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) Programme in Portugal
• Adoption of the MORE Tool - Monitoring Recyclates for Europe
• Creation of a recycling observatory for statistical analysis
• Development and participation in projects that foster the circular economy and the sustainability of plastics
At the same time, APIP, as a representative of the Plastics Industry, signed the Portuguese Plastics Pact, promoted by the Smart Waste Portugal Association. Under this pact, APIP assumes coordination of the Advisory Committee, where several industry associations are represented.
Circular Economy and Sustainability require aggregation of the efforts and intentions of diverse entities and institutions in a constructive, integrated and holistic way. Based on this vision, APIP will seek to work with all stakeholders on building more circular and sustainable solutions.
The BETTER PLASTICS project is the result of an initiative by APIP and involves a total of 25 entities (e.g. producers of plastic materials and raw materials, converters, brand-owners, retailers and distributors, waste management agents, technological centres and universities). The goal of this true innovation ecosystem is the development of new materials, products, processes, systems, technologies and services, making it possible to respond to current and future challenges and ensuring the circularity and sustainability of Plastics in Portugal.
The project is based on three main pillars:
– Circularity through Design (Material and Product)
– Circularity through Recycling
– Circularity through Alternative Raw Materials
And its main objectives are:
– Increase the circularity and efficiency of the plastic resource within the framework of the European plastics strategy launched by the European Commission, towards an increasingly circular economy;
– Design and develop materials with improved separation and recycling properties;
– Design and develop products that encourage and boost reuse;
– Design and produce plastics and plastic products aligned with reuse, repair and recycling needs;
– Use plastic waste as a resource at the end of products’ useful life, in order to close the cycle;
– Develop replacement solutions that extend the useful life of plastic articles;
– Innovate in advanced recycling technologies to increase the recovered value of plastic waste;
– Incorporate alternative raw materials in the production of plastics, containing residues or by-products from other sectors and processes, such as biological raw material from the agricultural industry, carbon-based raw material from the chemical industry and chemical and secondary plastics from the plastic industry;
– Define life cycle assessment actions in order to identify the conditions under which the use of biodegradable or compostable plastics is beneficial and what the criteria are for these applications.
The RTD Better Plastics project is expected to last 36 months.