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|Title:||Closing the loop on plastic packaging materials: What is quality and how does it affect their circularity?|
|Keywords:||Circular economy;Plastic packaging;Recycling;Resource recovery;Waste;Technical implications|
|Citation:||Science of the Total Environment, 2018, 630 pp. 1394 - 1400|
|Abstract:||While attention on the importance of closing materials loops for achieving circular economy (CE) is raging, the technicalities of doing so are often neglected or difficult to overcome. However, these technicalities determine the ability of materials to be properly recovered and redistributed for reuse or recycling, given the material, component and product (MCP) state and functionality. Materials have different properties that make them useful for various functions and purposes. A transition, therefore, towards a CE would require the utmost exploitation of all available routes that MCPs can be diverted to, based on their design, use and recovery; ideally, enabling a perpetual looping of them in the economy. Yet, this is difficult to succeed. In the present short communication article, the authors explain how the quality and the way it is meant at different stages of the plastic packaging supply chain affects their potential recycling; and outlines the opportunities and constraints offered by some of the changes that are currently introduced in order to improve their circularity. The purpose of this article is to underpin the need for research that integrates systemic thinking, with technological innovations and regulations at all stages of the supply chain, in an effort to promote sustainable practices to become established.|
|Appears in Collections:||Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers|
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