Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Wednesday, April 13 2022 - 19:00
Consumer Goods Companies Announce Position on Chemical Recycling Technologies and Publish Life Cycle Assessment
PARIS, April 13, 2022 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

- For the first time, consumer good companies are joining forces through The 
Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) to set the agenda for the development of new plastic 
recycling technologies. 
- The CGF's Coalition of Action on Plastic Waste has today published an 
independent scientific study which demonstrates that the chemical recycling of 
hard-to-recycle plastic waste could reduce the climate impact of plastic when 
compared to waste-to-energy incineration. 
- 16 member companies have also co-authored a paper which outlines a set of 
principles for credible, safe and environmentally sound development of the 
chemical recycling industry. 

As part of its mission to tackle the plastic pollution challenge and help 
advance a world where no plastic ends up in nature, The Consumer Goods Forum's 
(CGF) Plastic Waste Coalition of Action (the Coalition) is pleased to announce 
the publication of a Vision and Principles Paper, entitled "Chemical Recycling 
in a Circular Economy for Plastics" [ 
] which encourages the development of new plastics recycling technologies that 
meet six key principles for credible, safe and environmentally sound 
development. In support of this position paper, the Coalition has also 
published a new independent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study [ 
] , that demonstrates that the chemical recycling of hard-to-recycle plastic 
waste could reduce the climate impact of plastic when compared to 
waste-to-energy incineration.

Guided by the global commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and in 
line with the newly announced UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, the Coalition is 
committed to driving progress towards realising a circular economy. To this 
end, in 2021, the Coalition launched its full set of Golden Design Rules, for 
the design of plastic packaging. At the same time, members developed a 
framework for optimal Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programmes, as 
part of their engagement in advanced and transitional markets to increase 
recycling rates for packaging that cannot be reused. The Coalition is equally 
working to encourage recycling innovation to close the loop, including chemical 
recycling to complement the growing mechanical capacity.

To help to achieve this final aim, the Coalition has aligned on a common vision 
and set of principles for the safe scaling of pyrolysis-based chemical 
recycling, which the Coalition believes provides guidance for the positive 
development of the technology. The paper states that chemical recycling could 
increase packaging recycling rates which could enable recyclability targets to 
be met, more specifically for hard-to-recycle plastics, for example 
post-consumer flexible film. To ensure that chemical recycling is developed and 
operated under credible, credible, safe and environmentally sound conditions 
and to help encourage this, the paper outlines six key principles which relate 
to: the complementarity with mechanical recycling, material traceability, 
process yields and environmental impact, health and safety as well as claims. 

Members of the CGF's Plastic Waste Coalition hope to play a role in making a 
positive case for a credible and safe chemical recycling system. The CGF 
members would welcome feedback and engagement on this study and its broader 
work within the Plastic Waste Coalition of Action.

Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mars, Incorporated, said, "Chemical 
Recycling is a critical complement to Mechanical Recycling as it will allow 
large quantities of flexible packaging to be recycled into food grade 
packaging. This study demonstrates that chemical recycling has a significantly 
lower carbon footprint than the current end of life of flexible packaging."

Colin Kerr, Packaging Director, Unilever, said, "As we continue to reduce the 
use of virgin plastic, new technologies such as chemical recycling can help 
drive up recycling rates and increase the availability of food grade recycled 
materials. The principles and Life Cycle Assessment work from The Consumer 
Goods Forum is key to ensuring this can happen in a safe and environmentally 
sound way."

Llorenc Mila i Canals, PhD, Head of the Life Cycle Initiative Secretariat, 
United Nations Environmental Programme, said, "It is crucial to consider all 
potential environmental impacts across the life cycle of production and 
consumption systems when assessing technologies such as chemical recycling of 
plastics. A specific challenge with relatively new technologies is including 
the chemical composition of discharges, emissions and wastes from facilities, 
along with the need for additional pollution control equipment and management; 
these should form part of the assessment. Life Cycle Assessment is the 
standardised tool to do just that, assuring the necessary scrutiny by experts 
and interested parties; the Consumer Goods Forum has initiated a very useful 
process to shed light on many of these aspects in this report"

Sander Defruyt, Lead, New Plastics Economy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said 
"Recognising that reduction and reuse of packaging should be prioritised, and 
recognising the limitations of the technology, the paper puts forward the 
industries' position on what role Pyrolysis CR could play in the transition to 
a circular economy for plastics and what key principles and boundary conditions 
it should adhere to." 

As part of the Coalition's work, an independent study to look specifically at 
the topic of climate change impact was commissioned. The study was carried out 
by environmental expert consultancy Sphera and peer-reviewed throughout the 
process by a panel of experts from the United Nations Environmental Programme, 
Northwestern University (USA), and Eunomia. The study provides a life cycle 
impact assessment, and compares conventional plastics produced from fossil and 
incinerated at end of life, with chemically-recycled plastic in a circular 

Its findings demonstrate that chemical recycling of hard-to-recycle plastic 
waste could reduce the climate impact of plastic when compared to 
waste-to-energy incineration. Specifically, the life cycle GHG emissions of 
flexible consumer packaging made from plastic waste through pyrolysis-based 
chemical recycling and recycled at end of life is 43% lower than plastic films 
manufactured from fossil fuels and disposed through incineration at end of 

Further details on the findings of the LCA can be found in the Technical Report 
] and the Non-Technical Summary [ 
Ignacio Gavilan
Director, Environmental Sustainability 

Louise Chester
Communications Officer 

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Source: The Consumer Goods Forum