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EU Circular Economy Package ensures recycling innovations

The newly adopted EU Circular Economy Package contains higher binding recycling quotas for municipal waste. To ensure that plastic packaging is increasingly recycled in the future, the sorting process must be improved.

14 May. 2018
HMI-ID04-073br_MEILO
EU Circular Economy Package ensures recycling innovations (Photo: Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin)

Recycling is a key component of effective environmental and climate protection. In the EU, the Circular Economy Package adopted on April 18 thus sets higher binding quotas for Member States. At least 65% of municipal waste is to be recycled by 2035 and 70% of packaging waste by 2030.

The quotas specified for plastic packaging are nevertheless somewhat lower: 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030. And sorting technology innovations are needed to reach these targets. For example, MEILO' s sorting plant, funded by the Federal Environmental Agency's innovation program , is designed to use near-infrared spectrometry to sort out two fractions that are not yet separated and are therefore incinerated: small-size PE films and flexible mixed polyolefins. In contrast, Polysecure 's technology is based on fluorescent tracers: the Freiburg-based company's process marks materials with the tracer substances, which can then be detected and sorted for recycling. The first sorting machine is already in the industrial testing phase.