Sidel Joins Ellen MacArthur’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

10-07-2019

Sidel has recently been announced as a new signatory of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. This worldwide initiative was launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UN Environment in October 2018 with the goal of addressing the plastic waste and pollution crisis at its source and keeping plastics within the economy. Today, it unites more than 400 organisations on its commonvision of a circular economy for plastics.

Sidel has long based its sustainability efforts on eight strong pillars. These include product-focused aspects such as food safety, sustainable packaging and equipment – striving to avoid all waste, minimise greenhouse gas emissions, reduce water and energy consumption – and sustainable lifecycle management of their customers’ assets. “By signing the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Global Commitment, we have undertaken another important step towards a more sustainable future. Together with our clients and business partners we want to continue playing a key role when it comes to addressing the increasing challenges of packaging, food safety and environmental impacts”, says Mr. Luc Desoutter, Sustainability Officer at Sidel.  

Better recycling needs focus on collection

The consumption of packaged beverage alone shows a continuous growth trend at 2.5% per annum globally and at 1.3% per annum in Europe. To a large degree, this green trajectory is supported by the usage of PET as primary packaging. Due to its unique properties in terms of food safety, convenience, design flexibility, transparency, cost and especially closed loop recyclability, approximately 37% of all beverage volume is packaged in PET.1

The vision behind the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment includes ambitious goals: for instance, taking action to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging – through redesign, innovation and new delivery models – as well as embracing reuse models with the aim of 100% of all plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

“Technologically and industrially, PET, can and glass can all be recycled. There is also an economical value in doing so: the value of a bale of PET bottles can range between 300 and 600 Euros per tonne, depending on its quality. PET can be brought back into the value chain, it shouldn’t be considered part of the problem”, Mr. Desoutter explains. “We are witnessing a significant shift in attitudes towards how PET is recycled and we want to use our engagement as part of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to support and promote this development towards maximum collection and recycling rates.”

Beyond the bottle – Sidel’s End to End approach

As far as the image of plastics and especially PET is concerned, Sidel has long been collaborating with different leading industry associations to continuously promote the unique properties of PET packaging and to develop designs for its recycling standards. Accordingly, having signed the commitment among the suppliers to the plastic packaging industry, Sidel has also formulated an ambitious set of their own additional targets.

Those are centred on the company’s End to End approach, which considers packaging and equipment from a 360° perspective, taking into account the impacts created upstream and downstream in the value chain. As Mr. Desoutter highlights, “When looking at packaging, not only do we need to take into account primary, secondary and tertiary packaging but also their interaction with the equipment in the factory. We do that by always bearing in mind interests and expectations carried by the industry players, the consumers and the civil society.”