Sustainable recovery solutions for multi-material flexible packaging will require extensive collaboration amongst stakeholders; including sharing between industries.

Considering the significant advantages to using multi-material flexible packaging, many users and manufacturers continue to seek sustainable solutions for their end of life. Evaluating lifecycle impacts of different recovery schemes, identifying opportunities to improve processes, and seeking to drive recycling options are common objectives by a variety of industry coalitions. Below is a list of many of the current industry initiatives exploring viable solutions to increase the recovery options of multi-material packaging.

Formed in 2014, this group seeks to increase the awareness of plastics-to-fuel (PTF) technologies with the aim to establish PTF into a strong and viable alternative energy industry. Additionally, the group seeks to increase understanding of the sustainability benefits of using this technology as a recovery solution for difficult to recover plastics. Engagement is through paid membership to the Alliance.

Website: Plastics to Fuel and PetroChemistry Alliance

American Chemistry Council: Plastics to Fuel & Petrochemistry Alliance (PTF)

This ongoing working group of the Flexible Packaging Association seeks to facilitate the advancement of flexible packaging recovery, with a focus on recovery options. Only members of the Flexible Packaging Association may be engaged; although the task group and association do have a history of sharing resources and collaborating with peers on like-minded projects. 

Website: Flexible Packaging Association

Flexible Packaging Resource Recovery Task Group

PACNEXT launched the Multi-Material Film & Bags project committee in 2011 in order to assess opportunities for improving cost effective film recovery. The committee is currently working on a collaborative project with Stewardship Ontario, the Continuous Improvement Fund and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. The project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of recycling post-consumer multi-material flexible packaging. They are currently performing a trial with three end-processors.

Engagement in this committee is through membership with PACNEXT

Website: PacNext

PACNEXT: Multi-Material Film & Bags Committee