Poles use approx. 32,000 tons of flexible plastic packaging, such as foil after chips, sweets or instant soups. Usually, consumers throw them out of the way, i.e. into mixed waste instead of the yellow garbage bag. As a result, only a small percentage is recycled later. This proportion is to be reversed by the ReFlex program that has just been launched, which is unique not only on the Polish but also European market. Its goal is to collect and recycle at least 50% by 2025. flexible packaging placed on the market. Properly processed, they can later be used, among others in the construction, transport and furniture industries.
The ReFlex program is an innovative project – not only on the Polish but also European scale – which aims to increase the collection and recycling of flexible packaging. The project was initiated and is financed by two large concerns operating on the FMCG market – Nestlé and PepsiCo, i.e. producers of, among others breakfast cereals and crisps, and its coordinator is the Employers’ Union EKO-PAK. Eco Solutions is responsible for the technical side of the project – i.e. cooperation with entities collecting waste from residents, municipal installations and recycling plants.
“The ReFlex project consists in building the entire system: starting from the segregation of these flexible plastic packaging, which we call ReFlex, to the production of a new, ready-made product from them” – explains Tadeusz Pokrywka, an Eco Solutions expert. – In practice, it looks like we have an agreement with plants where this packaging waste is segregated and baled so that it takes up less space. Later, they are delivered to the recycler and prepared there for the comminution process and transformation into recyclate. Then they go to the manufacturer, who makes finished products from this recyclate.
As he emphasizes, this type of materials – properly collected and transformed – can be used in the construction, transport and furniture industries.