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The two-year Reflex project, which was launched this year and is funded by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK, has already garnered its first reward. The project, which aims to improve the recyclability of flexible packaging and divert more of it from landfill, has taken a runner-up place in the inaugural Sustainability Awards 2015, run by Packaging Europe magazine.

Karen Laird

August 17, 2015

2 Min Read
Reflex project is a runner-up in Sustainability Awards 2015

The two-year Reflex project, which was launched this year and is funded by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK, has already garnered its first reward. The project, which aims to improve the recyclability of flexible packaging and divert more of it from landfill, has taken a runner-up place in the inaugural Sustainability Awards 2015, run by Packaging Europe magazine.

The awards celebrate the packaging industry’s latest and most innovative solutions to reducing environmental impact. The Reflex project was recognized in the Brand category as an ‘industry-leading exemplary model of collaboration,’ according to Packaging Europe Editor, Tim Sykes.

REFLEXprojectimage-porkpiepackaging.jpgLed by resource recovery specialist Axion Consulting, the collaborative project involves the high-profile global brands Nestlé UK Ltd. (Vevey, Switzerland) and Unilever UK Central Resources Ltd. (London, United Kingdom), as well as major stakeholders across the value chain. These include the Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, MI), the converters Amcor Ltd. (Hawthorn, VIC, Australia) and Interflex Group (Wilkesboro, NC); and waste management and recycling specialists Suez (Paris, France)and Tomra Sorting Ltd. (Asker,  Norway).

“Reflex is addressing the crucial question of how to develop technologies that increase recycling of flexible packaging. It is a great example for the entire industry of how brand owners can join forces with leading players across the value chain to solve common problems faster,” added Tim.

Flexible packaging such as plastic bags, confectionery wrappers, frozen food bags and pouches makes up nearly a third (32%) of consumer plastic packaging in the UK. However, virtually all of the 414,000 tonnes produced annually ends up in landfill. By contrast, 58% of plastic bottles are recycled. Currently, recycling flexible film presents a number of challenges with low yields due to multi-layer barrier materials, difficulties in sorting it from bulk waste and high ink loadings that affect the final recycled product color. Confusion among consumers over what exactly can be recycled is also a significant barrier to recovering more of these materials.

Axion was delighted with the recognition, said Principal Consultant Liz Morrish, and extremely proud: “It is fantastic news and a major boost for everyone involved in this exciting project.”

Dana Mosora, Dow’s EMEA Leader for Sustainability commented: “Reflex is a very good example of how Dow is approaching the market—by looking to collaborate with all our partners, to develop solutions for sometimes very complex issues. This method of working together is gaining prominence within our industry. It is inspiring for not just our partners and other members of the value chain, but key influencers like Packaging Europe which is excellent news.”

 



 

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