On behalf of the IK, GVM has once again studied the recyclability of plastic packaging and found significant increases.
According to a recent study by the Society for Packaging Market Research (GVM), the recyclability of plastic household packaging increased to 81 percent in the study year 2020. According to the minimum standards set out in the Packaging Act in 2020, recyclable packaging is packaging for which there is a recovery path, which does not contain any impurities that hinder recycling and whose material type is detected by sensors in sorting facilities. In 2016, GVM had already conducted a survey of recyclability. At that time, 75 percent of plastic packaging was recyclable. There has been great progress, he said, especially in the recyclability of plastic packaging from the yellow bag, the yellow garbage can. This had risen from 66 percent to 74 percent compared to 2016, although, as the IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen notes, "the two studies are only comparable to a limited extent due to the further development of the assessment methodology." According to the study, progress has also been made in multilayer packaging and the use of recycling-friendly pigments. According to the IK, the results of the study and many other examples showed that industry and distributors have made "design for recycling" a focus of packaging design. IK Managing Director Dr. Isabell Schmidt sees a negative trend, which in the IK's view runs counter to the political goals of waste avoidance and a circular economy, in the increasing use of paper-plastic composites with low recyclability. In order not to jeopardize ecological progress in the packaging market, the IK is calling for financial incentives to be strengthened by the Packaging Act, says Schmidt. This would make the industry's self-imposed target of 90 percent recyclable or reusable household packaging by 2025 achievable, she added.