Studies investigate how to improve plastic recycling

Researchers analyze options to increase recycling rates; laboratory study reports using untargeted migrants analysis as a feasible tool to discern recycled from virgin polyethylene (PE); stakeholder analysis finds equal involvement of all relevant actors needed to improve PET plastic recycling

John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight features plastics

Last Week Tonight episode focuses on plastic recycling, reports only nine percent of all plastics recycled, functioning systems only established for polyethylene terephthalate, polyethylene; discusses Basel Convention restricting plastic waste trade, criticizes misleading closed-loop recycling claims; recommends targeted bans, introducing extended producer responsibility schemes

CARBIOS to produce PET bottles from textile waste

CARBIOS announces production of PET bottles from enzymatically recycled PET textile waste; ability to tap new previously disregarded sources of materials for recycling

New enzyme system for faster PET degradation

Researchers announce creation of enzyme technology allowing to degrade polyethylene terephthalate plastics at room temperature in a laboratory setting; industrial scale up foreseen as possible within several years

Properties of rPET-containing bottles

Scientists examine effects of recycled PET (rPET) on bottles’ properties, propose generic model to calculate acceptable rPET content for different scenarios; bottles from mono-collection systems have less particle contamination, more favorable optical properties, lower accumulation of contaminants, and therefore recommended to allow higher recycled content

Beverage container associations urge support for deposit programs

Aluminum, glass, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging manufacturer associations ask US state governments to clearly communicate container return process to consumers, stress importance of recycling returned containers to meet currently high packaging demand during COVID-19 pandemic

Scientists find novel enzyme to break down PET

Publication in the journal Nature reports new enzyme able to break down 90% of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic into monomers within ten hours, outperforms all previously discovered enzymes

Flexible plastic packaging expected to grow

Market research by the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) estimates 3,271 billion packaging units sold in 2018, led by flexible plastics and PET bottles; expects both material types to also see greatest increases by 2023

PET recycling will not meet brand commitments

National Association for PET Container Resources concludes that U.S. PET recycling rates too low to meet brand commitments for recycled content; calls for action, including improving collection

EFSA opinions on four PET recycling processes

European Food Safety Authority’s Working Group on Recycling Plastics publishes opinions on four processes for recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into food contact materials; includes AMB, Poly Recycling, Texplast, Quinn Packaging processes