Stage 1 of the Polypropylene Plant Packaging Recycling Program (PoPPr) project is ending, with work on the Business Case for the development of a national product stewardship scheme now complete. Find out how you can be involved in the next stage, Scheme Design, at our workshop on Tuesday 22 June.
Since the Sustainable Packaging in Horticulture (SPiH) Working Group first came together in 2019, significant progress has been made towards meeting the greenlife industry’s goal to increase its use of recycled polypropylene. The business case for the development of a national product stewardship scheme for polypropylene plant packaging is now complete, with work on this scheme’s design set to commence next month.
The June 2020 SPiH workshop, jointly hosted by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), Garden City Plastics (GCP) and Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA), identified an industry goal to increase its use of recycled polypropylene (PP) from 8,000 tonnes per year to 12,000 tonnes per year, a 50% increase by 2025. To meet this goal, this group recognised that strategic action was required to close the loop on polypropylene.
Since the last SPiH Working Group meeting in February, the PoPPr Project Steering Committee has worked closely with Sustainable Resource Use (SRU) on the first stage of this program (Business Case Development). This work has included extensive consultation across the entire horticultural packaging value chain, to articulate the requirement behind the development of a national program. The product of that work is a clear business case outlining the rationale for the development of a national recovery and recycling program for plant packaging and recommendations.
Peter Vaughan, GIA CEO, says that without exception, all stakeholders consulted throughout this stage have expressed a willingness to support increased recycling of plant packaging, thereby helping to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. A circular economy is one in which waste and pollution are designed out, products and materials are kept in use, and natural systems regenerated1. This broad industry support comes from across the packaging value chain, including a concentrated manufacturing base and 34 recyclers.
“Polypropylene is a single polymer and there is a demand for the recyclate. Thanks to an industry-led decision more than 30 years ago, to adopt polypropylene as a standard material, almost all plant packaging manufactured and placed on the Australian market is made from polypropylene,” says Peter, “The greenlife industry is a large user of polypropylene products, namely pots, labels, stakes, trays, and tubs. There are many supply chains that these products go into. Once these products are at the end of their current use, we want them to be collected so that the polypropylene polymer is returned to the packaging value chain and not lost. The design of the PoPPr collection system must therefore bring everyone in the supply chain along through this process.”
Where to from here?
Over the second half of this year, the PoPPr project team will embark on the second stage of the program (Scheme Design), assessing the economic viability of the program. This work will include a cost benefit analysis of recovery systems including existing and potential end markets, stakeholder analysis and research pilots, before confirming the final scheme design.
The third and final stage of the PoPPr program (Scheme Implementation) is scheduled to commence in the next quarter, concluding at the end of 2022. This stage will involve further scheme trials before the scheme is rolled out more widely, and consumer education and awareness raising.
Find out how you and your business can be actively involved in the next stage of the PoPPr project.
An update on this program will be provided at the next meeting of the SPiH Working Group as follows:
Date: Tuesday 22 June 2021
Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm (AEST)
To register: Click here to register your details, and you will receive Zoom connection information with your confirmation email.
Report author, Peter Allan from Sustainable Resource Use, will talk through the process he undertook to develop the business case and his findings over the course of the project. Recommendations from the Business Case will be presented and the next steps for the project outlined.
This session is open to all members of the greenlife industry and the plant packaging value chain.
Greenlife Industry Australia encourages manufacturers and/or large users of polypropylene plant packaging to attend this workshop. ”Polypropylene is a very useful polymer as it can re-circulated through the packaging value chain with minimal degradation,” says Peter Vaughan “However, we need your help to get that material back into the system.”