'Transition Time! A Circular Economy for Plastics’ in practice

The DSGC aims to contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In order to achieve the SDG’s, one of the DSGC aims is to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy for plastics. In the publication ‘Transition time! A circular economy for plastics’, the coalition sheds light on the challenges of plastic, shares innovative cases and makes specific recommendations on how to incentivize action. We like to share cases and recommendations of the report, to inspire others. Transition Time!

Transition Time #1! DSGC-member AkzoNobel contributes to the transition of a circular economy for plastics and already reduced its plastic waste by 40% in the last eight years. The packaging of AcoMix, AkzoNobel Decorative Paints for business, is a good example of a concrete step that contributes this transition. It’s made of 100% recycled plastic and is completely recyclable.

Transition Time #2! DSGC-member DSM made the commitment to deliver bio- and/or recycled-based alternatives for their entire high-performance engineering plastics portfolio. At the moment DSM is developing sustainable alternatives. The full portfolio of advanced alternatives will contain at least 25% recycled and/or bio-based content (by weight in the final product) and be fully in place by 2030.

Transition Time #3! At DSGC-member Heineken plastics represent only 6% of total HEINEKEN packaging. Nevertheless, they are working hard to manage the impact of their packaging, by applying an eliminate, re-use, recycle approach. The introduction of reusable and recyclable cups at festivals is one of the concrete activities that has resulted from this approach.

Transition Time #4! DSGC-member Philips’ first product with all visual plastic parts and non-food contact parts made from recycled materials was the Senseo Viva Café Eco. In total, Philips introduced more than 75% recycled plastics into the non-food contact parts of the Senseo Viva Café Eco – a record high for the company.

Transition Time #5! DSGC-member Unilever recently delivered the Magnum brand experience with pint-sized packaging that was fully reusable, recyclable, and made from post-consumer recycled material. Around 600,000 of the new tubs have been available in Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands since 2019. Over 7 million more will be available in 2021.The carbon footprint reduction using the new tub is about two kilograms of CO2 for every kilogram of polyolefins produced via chemical recycling, in comparison to fossil-based methods.

Transition Time #6! DSGC-member Shell’s global ambition is to re-use one million tonnes of plastic waste every year by 2025. Shell pursuits this by using plastic waste as feedstock for crackers at its chemical sites. Shell Moerdijk in the Netherlands is now ready and certified to use feedstock made from plastic waste. As such, the Moerdijk site operates more and more circular.

Transition Time #7! DSGC-member KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the first airline in the world that recycles PET bottles to make tools for repairing and maintaining its aircrafts. At the end of every flight, empty bottles are collected. Then plastic pallets are sent in return for the bottles. Finally, those pallets can be turned into 3D-printed pieces of equipment. 

Last but not least: Transition Time #8! DSGC-member FrieslandCampina recently introduced the first fully recyclable cheese packaging. With this fully recyclable and lighter version of the resealable packaging for cheese, the company achieves a plastic reduction of 30% for its most sold cheese packaging in Europe. This can lead to a decrease of more than 300,000 kg of plastic per year and reuse in other applications.

In order to work together on a circular economy for plastics, various DSGC organisations have joined initiatives. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economyhas been signed by Philips, Unilever and FrieslandCampina. Heineken, Philips, Unilever and FrieslandCampina are members of the Dutch Plastic Pact. The European Plastic Pact has been signed by Unilever and FrieslandCampina. Unilever is also a member of the European Circular Plastics Alliance.

Read the full publication here: DSGC-Transition-Time-A-Circular-Economy-for-Plastics-Publication.pdf